Tagged Articles

unintended acceleration 92 articles

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

Toyota announces recall of 550,000 vehicles to fix steering flaw

Toyota Motor Corp. announced it is recalling 420,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States and an additional 130,000 globally over a flaw that could result in difficulty steering if not corrected. According to Toyota, the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley could become misaligned with the inner ring, creating noise and/or illuminating the vehicle’s discharge warning light. Left uncorrected, the power steering pump’s belt may become detached from the pulley, in which case the driver would notice a sudden increase in steering effort. Toyota says no reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem have been reported. ... Read More

Strong yen prompts Toyota to ask suppliers for ‘shared sacrifice’

The rising value of the Yen is putting pressure on Toyota to cut back on costs in order to remain competitive in the global market, where most currencies are far weaker than Japan’s. The appreciating Yen has been putting a chokehold on Toyota and other Japanese exporters as they struggle to recoup from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan’s eastern coast, creating widespread power shortages and disruptions in the industrial supply chain. Toyota isn’t new to the cost-cutting game. Under the stewardship of Katsuaki Watanabe, who led Toyota until 2009, the automaker instituted a series ... Read More

Sudden acceleration, other woes spell long recovery for Toyota

Toyota has fallen, but it might take years for it to get back up. According to Forbes, the Japanese auto giant’s share of the U.S. market has slid from 17 percent for all of 2009 to 11.5 percent in September. Making matters worse for the company is the fact that its sales were eclipsed last month by Chrysler Group LLC, an automaker that almost ceased to exist a couple of years ago and one which historically has always trailed far behind Toyota. Just four years ago, Toyota usurped General Motors as the world’s leading automaker, so what happened? Most analysts ... Read More

Judge dismisses first bellwether suit against Toyota over jurisdictional issue

The federal judge overseeing lawsuits filed in federal courts against Toyota for sudden unintended acceleration damages has dismissed the lawsuit previously selected as the first bellwether case, saying it belonged in a Utah State court. In June, Judge James Selna of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, had chosen a lawsuit involving a Utah crash that killed two people and injured two others as the first of the bellwether cases that will help determine how the rest of the multi-district litigation will proceed. In September, Judge Selna tentatively rejected Toyota’s motion that the case be tossed out. On ... 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

Minnesota man reclaims his life after Toyota acceleration crash, prison

ST. PAUL, MINN – Koua Fong Lee, who was imprisoned in 2007 after his Toyota Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed into traffic, killing three, gave an interview to the St. Paul Pioneer Press recently, looking back his wrongful conviction and subsequent release. We have followed Mr. Lee’s story on this blog as one of the most striking – and tragic — illustrations of human lives destroyed and forever changed because of a single automotive defect. On June 10, 2006, Lee was traveling along Interstate 94 in St. Paul on his way home from church. In the car with him were ... Read More