Toyota was the source for WSJ Story? Toyota says no.
It seems the whole big world is being turned upside down. Even the Wall Street Journal is being called into question. A few days ago, the journal reported that the crash data obtained by the U.S Department of Transportation blamed drivers, not the car, for the Toyota wrecks.
Yet, 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?
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.
Toyota has declined to comment on the story, but they said they did read the articles.
We all know that Toyota is close to the NHTSA and the DOT, so there is a good chance that it was Toyota that released the findings a bit early. Yet, since nothing official has come out, we don’t know for sure.
A very odd story indeed. Toyota may need to just lay low for a little bit.
UPDATE 07/15/2010: Toyota spokesperson Mike Michels said that Toyota was not implying that all the incidents were driver error. In total, around 2,000 vehicles suffered from unintended acceleration.
According to The New York Times, Mikels said that most of the cases involved floor mats and only small amounts were due to sticking accelerators.
He also said "in instances where they reported having their foot on the brake pedal, there is very clear evidence that this is pedal misapplication."
This is the first time that Toyota has acknowledged that the sudden-acceleration complaints were mostly false, though they didn’t give a number of incidents caused by the problem.
Toyota has said that there investigation is still ongoing and the NHTSA claims that they have reached no final conclusions. No evidence of electronic failure has been found.
Source: Just-Auto, Detroit Free Press