Report: Toyota electrical system not to blame for crashes
By John Shryock| February 8, 2011 at 6:13 PM CST - Updated June 23 at 9:02 AM
WASHINGTON (RNN) - A government study on what caused Toyota cars to accelerate suddenly does not appear to point to any electrical glitches in the automobiles, but rather problems with sticky pedals.
The sudden accelerations and resulting crashes are blamed for 89 deaths over the past decade, and led to two recalls, millions of dollars in repairs, $30 million in fines and $10 billion in potential lawsuits.
"We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota's electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told CNN.
Engineers studying the problem recreated the circumstances surrounding the crashes and couldn't find a problem with the electrical system or the electrical throttle.
The study indicates that a sticky accelerator pedal caused cars to suddenly speed out of control.
According to CNN, Toyota is considering a break override system in all Toyota vehicles, as well as more research on the throttle.
Eight million Toyotas were recalled in 2008 and 2009. More recently, a problem with Toyota fuel pressure sensors prompted an immediate, voluntary recall.
"Kind of makes me not want to drive my car right now, actually," said Toyota owner Adam Green.
Regulators had been blamed, as well, for not bearing down hard enough on safety.
Toyota insisted - and the government initially agreed - that the company's electronics were sound.
"Toyota for many, many years has been one of the more trusted brands in the auto industry," said Jeremy Anwyl.
Copyright 2011 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved. NBC contributed to this report.