NHTSA's Unintended Acceleration Investigation Findings Coming Late Fall

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators are in the midst of readying a report on Toyota's unintended acceleration issue to be released late fall.

The major Toyota recalls from late 2009 and earlier this year focused on floor mats and pedal assemblies but the NHTSA has been taking a deeper look into the engine-throttle and electronics systems. The future report is being heralded as the most comprehensive look into automotive safety to date.

NHTSA consumer-submitted records have tallied 52 Toyota crashes related to stuck throttles since 2000, along with 62 deaths. The ongoing investigation is still seeking a concise explanation and clear-cut cause for the various cases of unintended acceleration, although the NHTSA has been leaning in the direction of driver error. In addition to the NHTSA efforts, the National Academy of Science is looking for its own answers by gathering mechanical, engineering, and other data associated with automotive systems and designs, the afflicted components themselves, event data recorder reliability, and driver behavior.

The defect investigations unit reponsible for the inquisition is also being assisted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA will deliver a separately produced, expert report on the technical side of the electronics systems in conjunction with the NHTSA findings.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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