The Wall Street Journal is reporting that in an ongoing investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that issues of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles were due to driver error and not an issue with the vehicles themselves.The newspaper cites “people familiar” with the finding, as the government has neither released the information publicly nor confirmed the Journal’s sources.
The reports say that NHTSA analyzed dozens of data recorders in Toyota vehicles whose owners claimed experienced unintended acceleration. In all of them, the data shows the throttle was wide open and the brakes were not depressed, suggesting driver error, not a problem with the vehicles themselves. These tests were done independently of Toyota, and NHTSA selected the cars to test.
These findings seem to vindicate Toyota, but the recalls for sticky accelerator pedals and floormats are still blamed in a fatal crash involving a California state trooper and his family that led to the recall of millions of vehicles.
NHTSA says its investigation is incomplete and will take months to finish. This report, while intriguing, is far from the end of the story.
Crash Data Suggest Driver Error in Toyota Accidents (Wall Street Journal)