Some Toyota Context

by Ben Somberg

July 15, 2010

The last time the WSJ attempted a big scoop on the Toyota story (attempting to discredit the Prius driver case in California), the article did not hold up well. This week's story ("Early Tests Pin Toyota Accidents on Drivers") has caught attention, and a response from NHTSA: the agency has "several more months of work to do" before it announces conclusions of its investigation.

From the response by Safety Research & Strategies Inc.:

Recall that Toyota reported to Congress in January that the company identified 37,900 customer contact reports “potentially related to sudden unintended acceleration” analyzing “dozens” of data recorders from the thousands of complaints doesn’t extrapolate to a driver error problem. Nor does it explain the large jump in complaint rates when Toyota moved to Electronic Throttle Control (ETC).

How unintended acceleration reports went up when electronic throttle control was added to vehicles is something Toyota's defenders haven't been able to explain.

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