NASA Takes on Unintended Acceleration in New Investigation

New investigations were launched today to tackle issues of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles and the broader industry, according to U.S. Transportation Department Secretary Ray LaHood.

The first involves the National Academy of Sciences, an independent organization comprised of "top scientific experts" who will investigate unintended acceleration across the automotive industry. The second investigation sees the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration calling in NASA engineers to examine the issue in Toyota models.

"We are determined to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration," said LaHood. "For the safety of the American driving public, we must do everything possible to understand what is happening. And that is why we are tapping the best minds around."

The nine engineers being called in from NASA are specialists in computer controlled electronic systems, electromagnetic interference, and software integrity. The NASA engineers will conduct a short-term examination on Toyota vehicles that is expected to be concluded in late summer. Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council will investigate the larger issue over all manufacturers in a program slated to take 15 months. A panel of experts will then make recommendations to the NHTSA on future rulemaking and investigation procedures.

The total cost of both studies is said to run $3 million. Each will be peer reviewed by scientific experts.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

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