Toyota: Well, They Don’t Control Your Right Foot

"’There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas,’ U.S.

"’There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas,’ U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.”

That from a story that appeared on Reuters a few minutes ago.

2

Quite a saga. One that is far from over. One that will continue to have repercussions, reverberations, aftershocks, and whatever other seismic terms can be applied. NTHSA even brought out the best from NASA to look into this.

And that dog just wasn’t barking. (How many more metaphors can we mix into this batter?)

If we go back to November 25, 2009, we find the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration announcing in a release:

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced that Toyota has identified a vehicle-based remedy to fix a sudden acceleration safety issue involving floor mats trapping accelerator pedals in various Toyota and Lexus models. Toyota announced the recall of these vehicles in early October and said it would soon develop a vehicle-based remedy to reduce the risk of a crash due to accelerator pedal entrapment.

“The models involved in the recall are: 2007 to 2010 MY Camry, 2005 to 2010 MY Avalon, 2004 to 2009 MY Prius, 2005-2010 MY Tacoma, 2007-2010 MY Tundra, 2007-2010 MY ES 350, 2006-2010 MY IS 250, and 2006 to 2010 MY IS 350.

“NHTSA said Toyota plans to reconfigure the accelerator pedal, and in some cases the shape of the floor surface under the pedal, to address the risk of pedal entrapment due to floor mat interference, particularly with regard to inappropriate or improperly attached floor mats. At the same time, Toyota will develop replacement pedals for these vehicles, which will become available for some models in April 2010. Toyota will provide owners with the new pedal, when it becomes available, even if the vehicle has already received the modified pedal under the recall.

“In addition, vehicles with any genuine Toyota or Lexus accessory all-weather floor mats will be provided with newly-designed replacement driver- and front-passenger side all-weather mats.”

So let’s see: Toyota admitted the mats and pedals might have been a problem and denied that the electronics were the problem.

They fixed the mats and pedals. Now NHTSA says it wasn’t the electronics.

That leaves. . .driver error?