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electronic throttle 37 articles

Ford must submit source code in sudden unintended acceleration case

Ford Motor Co. must turn over portions of its proprietary source code to plaintiffs suing the auto manufacturer over alleged defects in the electronic throttle control (ETC) system of certain vehicles, causing them to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly, a West Virginia federal judge ordered Friday. Attorneys representing plaintiffs in a proposed class action argued that the source code is instrumental to understanding an alleged glitch that can cause sudden unintended acceleration in vehicles made from 2002 to 2010. They likened the problem to nearly identical claims made against Toyota for sudden unintended acceleration. Electronic source code played a key role ... Read More

Toyota seeks sudden-acceleration closure after Oklahoma verdict

Less than two months after an Oklahoma jury found that Toyota had acted with ”reckless disregard” in its response to two women injured in a sudden, unintended acceleration crash, the Japanese auto maker has decided to enter an intensive settlement process. The decision to negotiate a settlement hasn’t surprised many following Toyota’s sudden-acceleration saga. Even though it appeared the carmaker had gained some momentum fighting earlier lawsuits brought by crash victims and their families — as well as vehicle owners suffering monetary losses — the jury’s verdict in Oklahoma likely derailed Toyota’s hopes for prevailing over some 300 additional lawsuits ... Read More

New Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuit blames electronic throttle for horrific crash

A lawyer representing the family of a woman who died when her 2009 Toyota Camry sped out of control and sank into a California River hopes the case will be tried as a bellwether case ahead of about a hundred other sudden unintended acceleration lawsuits against Toyota pending litigation in California state courts. The plaintiff’s lawyer believes his client’s case, filed April 18 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, closely parallels the high-profile case of Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer who was killed with his family in August 2009 after the Lexus he was driving suddenly sped out ... Read More

Sudden acceleration cases filed against Toyota in California state courts get trial date

Litigation filed in California state courts over sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles has been slated to begin January 1, 2013, starting with a high-profile case alleging the wrongful death of a California woman whose 2006 Camry crashed after it sped out of control. In that case, plaintiff Peter Uno alleges that his wife Noriko Uno died in April 2008 after her Camry suddenly accelerated to speeds over 100 mph while she was traveling on an Upland, California highway. Mrs. Uno ultimately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a telephone pole. Jury selection on this first bellwether case ... Read More

Toyota recalls 700,000 vehicles for safety repairs

Toyota announced Wednesday that it will begin recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles next month to repair potential safety problems. One recall encompasses about 495,000 Tacoma pickup trucks made in models years 2005 through 2009 and will involve replacing the steering wheel spiral cable assembly. According to Toyota, friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some of the vehicles, possibly resulting in “loss of connectivity to the driver’s air bag module.” Should the electrical connection be interrupted, the driver’s airbag may be deactivated and fail to deploy during a crash. The ... Read More

Confidential Toyota memo says electronic flaw caused sudden acceleration in test car

An internal Toyota document obtained and translated by CNN demonstrates that engineers testing a pre-production car experienced and noted an instance of “sudden unintended acceleration.” The confidential document, drafted in 2006, was never shared with U.S. officials investigating whether an electronic flaw could be causing Toyota vehicles to suddenly speed out of control. Toyota engineers penned the document, relaying the results of a cruise-control test on a vehicle that would later be sold in Japan and Europe as the Lexus 460. “The cruise control activates by itself at full throttle when the accelerator pedal position sensor is abnormal,” the report says, ... Read More

State Farm sues Toyota in Texas to recover sudden-acceleration crash payments

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is suing Toyota Motor Sales in an effort to recoup a claim it paid to a policyholder whose 2007 Camry suddenly accelerated as she was attempting to park. The insurance company alleges that Toyota installed a faulty accelerator pedal in the plaintiff’s car, causing it to surge forward and collide with a building, causing several thousands of dollars in damage.  The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Victoria, Texas, states that the plaintiff was attempting to maneuver into a parking space at an office building when the accelerator pedal became stuck, causing the vehicle ... Read More

Auto safety group sues NHTSA for withholding Toyota sudden-acceleration report

Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS), the Massachusetts auto safety firm that has been instrumental in holding Toyota accountable for defects related to sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles, is suing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for withholding records that could provide critical insight into the sudden-acceleration problem. “The DOT and NHTSA have pledged transparency but have consistently kept vital information from the public,” said Sean Kane, the founder and head of SRS. “The agency’s numerous investigations into Toyota Unintended Acceleration have been characterized by continued secrecy, preventing a full accounting of their activities and the complete replication ... Read More

Electronic causes for sudden acceleration in Toyotas likely, new study finds

An independent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) demonstrates that, contrary to NASA’s conclusions, an electronic cause for the sudden unintended acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles is not just probable, but highly likely. In conducting their analysis of Toyota’s engine control systems, CALCE researchers Bhanu Sood, Michael Osterman, and Michael Pecht did agree with NASA scientists who found that “tin whiskers” were present in the accelerator pedal units of every potentiometer they examined. But whereas NASA relied on an analysis of warranty data provided by Toyota’s defense expert Exponent to ... Read More

Lawyers plan to prove NASA’s sudden acceleration report wrong

Lawyers representing hundreds of plaintiffs suing Toyota over sudden acceleration incidents are challenging a NASA report that concluded electronic defects aren’t responsible for causing Toyota and Lexus vehicles to accelerate unexpectedly. Toyota has argued the defects that triggered a global recall of millions of vehicles over sudden-acceleration issues are caused by mechanical problems and driver error, not electronic flaws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked NASA last year to test the electronic throttle systems in Toyota cars and determine whether an electronic or software-based defect could be to blame for sudden-acceleration incidents. NASA concluded that it could not establish ... Read More