Toyota Calls New CNN Unintended Acceleration Report “Grossly inaccurate”

Toyota Calls New CNN Unintended Acceleration Report “Grossly inaccurate”

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.

  • M

    Huge coverup! It is so unfair to those families affected. Toyota can never make up for the lose of those lives. Biggest cover up ever. Toyota sucks. Anyone who gets in one has no one to blame but themselves after all that has been exposed.


    Over 300 reported incidents to the NHTSA in 2011 even after the recalls. I still believe Toyotas have RARE sudden acceleration due to two simultaneous electronic glitches. One recent one found was tin whiskers in solder joints. Brake override was part of the fix in many and is in all new Toyotas. I believe Toyota was installing it for free even for those not recalled. There is no way drivers were just using the wrong pedal. Why so many Toyotas and hardly any for GM’s per vehicle sold?
    The big CA trial is to have 10 experts analyze the secret Toyota code – NASA didn’t have it so we’ll see. I still can’t understand how a floor mat would entrap the pedal entirely down to the floor as supposedly happened in the Saylor case.

    NASA’s Kirsch summarized the redacted NASA reports – from last page in:
    NASA detailed analysis and testing did not find evidence that malfunctions in electronic throttle control caused large unintended accelerations, as described by some consumer reports.
    NASA found a way that the electronic throttle control can fail, that combined with driver input, can cause the throttle to jump to 15 degrees open, but consumer reports of this condition is very low and it leaves evidence of occurrence.
    NASA found ways that the electronic throttle control can fail that results in small throttle openings up to 5 degrees.”


    Note to my comment earlier- not a Toyota owner or plaintiff.

  • Colum Wood

    Floor mats can definitely trap a pedal. I had it happen to me while driving my friends Nissan Sentra. It’s a good thing I was accelerating onto the highway and it was a stick shift so I just popped it into neutral until I managed to get the pedal free. Just another good reason to drive stick.

  • ykataoka

    The report is one expressing good and deep insights into Toyota’s culture of hiding the truth. Why such a concealing practice by Toyota is continueaslly allowed without any legal punishment. It is related to a serious safety issue and it must be stopped before serious death and injuries could happen again and again. Toyota’s behavious are negatively impacting on good Japanese companies operating in the States.

  • Nick

    On 02/06/2011, I experienced 1st hand unintented acceleration happening to my 2004 Lexus GS300. It was not caused by floor mat. The engine went to wild suddenly and car moved toward freeway shoulder after I changed to right-most lane. I lifted my foot from gas pedal, it did not slow down at all. I put foot on brake pedal and applied break fully. My car spun counterclockwisely across freeway surface from right-most lane to left-most lane. It spun about one and one half turns and stopped after back of my car hit the center divider. I truely believe something went wrong in the car control system. I reported my case to NHTSA. Unfortunately, NHTSA investigation report came out in that week.

  • you can also pop any automatic these days into neutral (mind you the engine will hate you for over-revving it since there is no clutch) but it will stop the acceleration
    also, likewise if you throw it in reverse, it just goes neutral until you stop

    why they didn’t think to try the parking brake in a ‘life-threatening’ situation (also called an emergency brake) just cuts the credibility of these malfunction claims

    in most cases, the issue was floor matSSSS, all Toyota owners got a reassuring letter after the scare, but it interestingly made several references to not stacking floor matS, and actually using the securing hooks for them so they don’t flop about