New Report Claims Driver Error Was Cause Of Toyota Crashes
After thousands of complaints and many different reports in the sudden acceleration case, the U.S Department of Transportation has concluded that it was driver error that caused the crashes of Toyota models. According to the Wall Street Journal, investigators looked over the data recorders from Toyota vehicles found at the time of these sudden acceleration crashes. They found that the accelerator pedal was wide open and the brakes were not depressed. That gave them reason to believe that drivers were hitting the gas instead of the brake at the time of the accident.
Of the 75 fatal crashes blamed on Toyota, the vehicle caused only one crash, when a California highway patrolman was killed when a Lexus EX350 accelerated uncontrollably with three people on board. Investigators found that it was the floor mats that caused this wreck, which Toyota quickly issued a recall for.
The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that the U.S Transportation Department has stated that they have not found any electronic issues in the cars that could have caused a wreck.
"In spite of our investigations, we have not actually been able yet to find a defect" in electronic throttle-control systems, Mr. Smith told the scientific panel, which is looking into potential causes of sudden acceleration.
"We’re bound and determined that if it exists we’re going to find it," he added. "But as yet, we haven’t found it."
The only problems found in Toyota models were the floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals, which were outlined by Toyota.
So, even though these reports are claiming that Toyota was not at fault, the automaker has seen its image severely tarnished. Over eight million Toyotas have been recalled all over the world.
UPDATE 07/15/2010: We are now hearing that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the DOT have no official word on the findings and never talked to the Wall Street Journal. So who was the source that blames the drivers?
According to Just-Auto, an unnamed source inside the NHTSA said that it was Toyota that planted the story and that Toyota was the source. The spokesperson seemed very sure as well, stating that they definitely know Toyota was the source for the story.
According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland has said there are still months of work to complete the findings.
Source: The Wall Street Journal