Feds Clear Toyota Electronics

8 years 10 months ago #1 by NewsBot
Engineers' 10-month study into unintended acceleration finds no faults in automaker's electronic controls.

Toyota scored a key victory today when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the automaker’s electronic systems played no role in the deadly unintended-acceleration crisis that led to the recall of millions of vehicles.

The Department of Transportation division launched the study 10 months ago with a directive from Congress to find out whether Toyota’s electronically controlled throttles or other software caused the problems, rather than the sticky throttle mechanisms and loose floor mats that had been blamed.

The NHTSA engineers who conducted the research were assisted by engineers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to probe the electronic systems for any signs of malfunction.

"The jury is back. The verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas. Period," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Our conclusion that Toyota's problems were mechanical, not electrical come after one of the most exhaustive, thorough and intensive research efforts ever undertaken."

The findings are not only a relief to Toyota but to millions of motorists who rely on the electronics of modern vehicles to control such critical functions as acceleration, engine management, handling controls and braking. Toyota has used electronic throttle controls in its vehicles since 2002.

In a written response, Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s Chief Quality Officer for North America, said, “We believe this rigorous scientific analysis by some of America's foremost engineers should further reinforce confidence in the safety of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

“We hope this important study will help put to rest unsupported speculation about Toyota's ETCS-i (Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence), which is well-designed and well-tested to ensure that a real-world, un-commanded acceleration of the vehicle cannot occur.”

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