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Toyota Acceleration Investigation Findings Will Be Released In Late Fall

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On: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 11:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Toyota Acceleration Investigation Findings Will Be Released In Late Fall

Federal Safety regulators expect to meet the deadline set for the investigation of recalled Toyota vehicles with unintended acceleration by late fall of this year. Toyota vehicles are being examined for problems with electronic systems and throttles to find out if defects can be linked to Toyota cars that were reported to speed out of control.

According to senior safety investigator Richard Boyd: "We're working hard to get this to you." Boyd, acting director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) defect investigations unit told the chair of a the Acadamy of Science panel,  "It will be sooner rather than later."

NHTSA set a deadline for late fall to complete the investigation and release its findings.

Consumer complaints in pending court cases have cited faulty electronic throttle control in 52 accidents and over 60 deaths since 2000, according to the NHTSA. Safety investigators report as many as 100 deaths associated with Toyota vehicles since the recall began.

Although the rate of complaints have slowed down significantly from the initial incline of millions of reports since 2000, Toyota still faces billions of dollars in potential civil liability resulting for upcoming court hearings.

According to automotive news.com: “Toyota sales are up only 2 percent in 2010 while the market as a whole has risen 11 percent. Lost market share has gone to Korea's Hyundai and Ford Motor Co.”

Louis Lanzerotti of the New Jersey Institute of Technology stated that he is not satisfied with the NHSTA when it held a recent meeting to educate the public on how it manages complaints. Lanzerotti stated, "I don't think the presentation was well organized to get to the guts of what we need." Lanzerotti also said, "It's rather frustrating for the chair and the committee."

Lanzerotti is a member of The National Academy of Science which evaluates mechanical, engineering, and other scientific data about vehicle systems, compiling data regarding failure analysis, data recorder reliability, and driver behavior.

The National Academy of Science posed a number of questions regarding the source of the problem with Toyota vehicles ranging from the design of the accelerator pad to aftermarket electronic products, as well as considering the possibility that electromagnetic interference may have played a role in unintended acceleration.

The NHTSA, which does not consider itself an expert agency regarding electronics, uses consultants such as the National Academy of Science to draw thorough conclusions from its investigation. Thus far driver error has been the main focus by federal regulators.

In previous investigations regarding recalled Toyota vehicles, no electronic defects were found in the throttle system or any other component that could possibly cause cars to speed out of control.


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