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Toyota And NHTSA Shockingly Slow On Unintended Acceleration Issue

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Angular Front Exterior View - 2010 Toyota Camry 4-door Sedan I4 Auto LE (Natl)

Angular Front Exterior View - 2010 Toyota Camry 4-door Sedan I4 Auto LE (Natl)

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It's hard to imagine that Toyota only started to take serious action on reports of its vehicles accelerating uncontrollably after four people in a Lexus ES 350 were killed after the sedan accelerated into an intersection and hit a SUV. When the crash took place on August 28 last year, Toyota had already received more than 2,000 complaints of unintended acceleration and endured multiple government investigations dating back as far as 2002.

To make matters worse, it was only last week that Toyota issued several recalls for the millions of vehicles in the U.S. and overseas that could be defect and halted production.

The question on everyone's lips is why the issue wasn't properly investigated previously and why didn't government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) act sooner?

Toyota broke one of its major rules by ignoring a smaller problem that eventuated into a much bigger and more serious problem. The NHTSA also has some tough questions to answer up to and so far is citing “limited resources” as the reason the unintended acceleration issue wasn't investigated more deeply.

Now both parties will be the subject of Congressional hearings and Toyota in particular is already feeling the effects of lost sales. The story doesn't end there as both Toyota and the NHTSA will also have to deal with several class-action suits and cases related to individual accidents in the near future.

It will now be interesting to see if Toyota can manage to emerge from the ordeal with its reputation for reliability intact.

[New York Times]

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Comments (6)
  1. This proves that Toyota put there bottom line before public saftey! Toyota you are a farse, esp if you where aware of this.

  2. Obviously, those out-of-control Lexus' need to be recalled as well! Something is wrong with the "Electronics" of these Toyotas. - It is not a "Mechanical" issue, it is an "Electronic" issue - which nobody is investigating. Hello!

  3. The fact that it took @ least 4 years for them to respond says a lot ... even sadder that they first tried to send their "fix" to the factories making new vehicles instead of fixing the potentially dangerous ones already on the road.

  4. This debacle has all the makings of the Audi 5000 "unintended acceleration" meltdown, which proved in the end that blaming electronic gremlins for a sticky accelerator and bad driving works. The legions of locust-like lawyers will now descend on the Toyota carcass to feast, forcing management to recall all cars manufactured over the past 10 years for some supposed black box patch to fix some non-existent fault. We'll all get a check for $1.29 and the lawyers will get bazillions in fees. Wait 10 years and repeat.

  5. Glad I never took the Toyota "hook" and bought one of their dull looking rigs.

  6. Any staff member of the NHTSA, 2003 to present, that participated in numerous investigations which led to no public awareness should stand trial for the death of all those who died from this car makers on going problem. In addition, all those involved should be sued (being the capitalist country that we are) by the families of all who have died in accidents resulting from the malfunction of these vehicles. All need to be held accountable for there actions while under office. I'm sure that a deeper probe would reveal NHTSA members received hush hush money, in one form or another, from Toyota. Talk about betrayal of America and its people.

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