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Toyota series of breakdowns with a sticking gas pedal: Drivers were often to blame

Reinhard Schmid /ams
Toyota breakdown series with jammed gas pedal
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T technical defects were the exception. The 'Wall Street Journal' reported on Tuesday (July 13th), citing ongoing studies.

No case with a slipping doormat found

So far, the US traffic safety authority has followed suit According to the newspaper, only one single case can be identified in which a slipping doormat jammed the accelerator pedal and led to an accident. In August last year, a police officer and three of his relatives died in California. The case caused a sensation in the US and sparked a wave of recalls at Toyota.

The results of the study are based on the analysis of dozens of data recorders in Toyota and Lexus cars. However, the traffic safety authority has not yet completed its investigations. It examines a total of 75 serious accidents, in which 93 people died.

Results strengthen Toyota’s back in court

In view of the national outcry, Toyota had more than eight million models due worldwide jammed gas pedals and sliding floor mats. The company battered its image, sales collapsed, and the damage runs into billions. Toyota also had to pay a fine in the US because the manufacturer had not reported the problems with the jammed accelerator pedals in time.

At least in the upcoming court hearings about compensation for the accident victims and survivors, the study results should strengthen Toyota's position. The manufacturer is noticeably reluctant to blame and avoids blackening drivers. The company fears further damage to its image.

The final report on the Toyota defects is still pending

Toyota is now likely to be much better off against politicians. Transport Minister Ray LaHood in particular had repeatedly insinuated that Toyota was hiding the real reason for the unintentional acceleration. LaHood suspected the complex electronics of modern cars. He had not only put the National Academy of Sciences on the case, but also the space agency NASA.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation refused to comment on the results, the investigations were still ongoing. At the end of last month, however, an employee of the traffic safety authority had admitted to experts that the research had been carried out to datewould not have revealed any defects in the electronics. A final report is not expected for a few months, there is no exact date.

Toyota is desperately trying to polish up its image. To do this, the group is spending a lot of money and, among other things, is hiring new engineers for quality assurance. Every problem, no matter how small, is made public, and the number of recalls has increased noticeably in recent months. The whole industry has been very sensitive to technical failures since the Toyota debacle.


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