Someone owes Toyota an apology.
After receiving thousands of reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation has concluded that, get ready for this, driver error was actually at fault.
According to The Wall Street Journal, investigators who analyzed data recorders from Toyota vehicles found that at the time of these “sudden acceleration” crashes, the throttles were wide open, and the brakes were not depressed. That means, to put it bluntly, the sudden acceleration was caused by a sudden lead foot and not faulty electronics.
Most likely, drivers accidentally stepped on the gas when they meant to apply the brake. Hardly seems worthy of Congressional hearings.
The WSJ also reports that U.S. Transportation Department officials have stated that they have not found any electronic throttle problems in any Toyota vehicles.
The story says,
Daniel Smith, NHTSA’s associate administrator for enforcement, told a panel of the National Academy of Sciences last month that the agency’s sudden-acceleration probe had yet to find any car defects beyond those identified by the company: pedals entrapped by floor mats, and “sticky” accelerator pedals that are slow to return to idle.
After recalling eight million vehicles and suffering incredible damage to its image during this fiasco, not to mention paying millions of dollars in NHTSA fines, Toyota remains vigilant in not placing any of the blame on its customers.
Looking at the evidence so far, though, there’s really nowhere else it should fall.
So Toyota may not be at fault in the sudden acceleration cases. Does that change your perception of the company and how it has handled this crisis?