U.S. Department Of Transportation Says NHTSA Study Finds No Electronic-Based Cause For Unintended High-Speed Acceleration in Toyota Vehicles


NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles capable of producing the large throttle openings required to create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents, according to the results of an extensive ten-month study launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the request of Congress.  The U.S. Department of Transportation released results of the study on Tuesday, February 8.


U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.”


In 2009 and 2010, Toyota recalled nearly eight million vehicles as part of the sticky pedal and pedal entrapment recalls. Toyota also paid $48.8 million in civil penalties as the result of NHTSA investigations into the timeliness of several safety recalls last year. Across the industry, automakers voluntarily initiated a record number of safety recalls in 2010.


The two mechanical safety defects identified by NHTSA more than a year ago – “sticking” accelerator pedals and a design flaw that enabled accelerator pedals to become trapped by floor mats – remain the only known causes for these kinds of unsafe unintended acceleration incidents. Toyota has recalled nearly 8 million vehicles in the United States for these two defects.


NHTSA enlisted NASA engineers with expertise in areas such as computer controlled electronic systems, electromagnetic interference and software integrity to conduct new research into whether electronic systems or electromagnetic interference played a role in incidents of unintended acceleration.


“NASA found no evidence that a malfunction in electronics caused large unintended accelerations,” said Michael Kirsch, Principal Engineer at the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC).


To read the executive summary and findings of the NASA report, click here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/NASA_report_execsum.pdf


To read NASA’s full report, click here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/NASA-UA_report.pdf


To read the executive summary and findings of the NHTSA report, click here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/NHTSA_report_execsum.pdf


To read NHTSA’s full report click here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/NHTSA-UA_report.pdf

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