In response to a new report on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 program accusing Toyota of a cover-up of unintended acceleration issues with its cars, the Japanese automaker is fighting back.
In a statement released today Toyota commented that, “In the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, CNN has irresponsibly aired a grossly inaccurate segment on Anderson Cooper 360 that attempts to resurrect the discredited, scientifically unproven allegation that there is a hidden defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system that can cause unintended acceleration.”
Toyota then goes on to document the exhaustive testing performed by NASA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Academy of Sciences, all of which, “have thoroughly debunked this worn-out fabrication.”
According to Toyota, the CNN story hinges on a document that the automaker claims has been improperly translated – a story CNN first ran in March of 2010. Furthermore, Toyota points out the much larger conflict of interest involved, namely that one of the main experts accusing Toyota had his research funded by legal firms with clients that are suing Toyota.
Toyota says the group of lawyers, “are continuing their efforts to manufacture controversy where none exists and have used CNN to support their narrow, self-serving agenda.”
In addition to these claims, the story also covers several reports of unintended acceleration, that Toyota describes as “unverified” and comments that for one complainant, Tanya Spotts, the car’s “Event Data Recorder” actually proves that the wrong pedal was applied and that proper application of the brakes only occurred when it was too late to prevent the crash. Toyota even goes on to comment that such improper application of the brake pedal is not unique to Toyota and that last year NHTSA received similar complains relating to twelve other automakers.
“Notwithstanding CNN’s irresponsible, inaccurate broadcast, we are gratified that Toyotas are once again widely recognized by leading independent evaluators as among the safest and most reliable in the world,” concludes the letter.