Along with two major recalls, one for Floor Mat Entrapment and another for Sticking Accelerator Pedals, a Federal government committee will investigate whether other models, including the Toyota Tacoma and Prius, might be in need of recalls.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100 complaints have bee made by Toyota Tacoma owners related to issues of unintended acceleration. The Tacoma, however, uses a Denso pedal assembly and not the CTS Corp. pedal assembly found in the 2.3 million recalled models for Sticking Accelerator Pedals. CTS Corp. is based in Indiana, while Denso pedal assemblies are manufactured in Japan.
The Ministry of Transportation has said it will look at whether the problem of sudden acceleration is electronic and not mechanical.
“What explains the seemingly high number of complaints in NHTSA’s database regarding sudden acceleration in this model?” the committee asked. “Is it Toyota’s opinion that most of these can be explained by driver error, erroneous reporting, or faulty floor mats?”
“Has Toyota examined the possibility that the sudden acceleration problems are not caused by the floor mats or gas pedal in some models, but by problems with the electronic sensors or the computer system which govern the accelerator? Is Toyota confident that the electronics are not involved in this problem?”
Toyota has continually denied that the issue is electronic, saying in a statement that, “After many years of exhaustive testing—by us and other outside agencies—we have found no evidence of a problem with our electronic throttle control system that could have caused unwanted acceleration. Our vehicles go through extensive electromagnetic radiation testing dynamically. We have our own test facility in Japan, we are also building one in Ann Arbor. The testing examines microwave radiation and every other type of magnetic wave and we have never been able to force our systems to fail through any of the tests that are done on them. There are many redundancies and fail safes that are built into our system. If the accelerator pedal and the throttle on the engine don’t match in their communication to each other the throttle returns to an idle position.”
The committee will also look at the 2010 Toyota Prius as a candidate for a recall, after the Japanese Ministry of Transportation asked Toyota to investigate complaints from owners for potentially faulty brakes.
The committee has asked Toyota North American president, Yoshimi Inaba to answer several questions ahead of a Feb 10th hearing, which has been titled, “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public At Risk?”
[Source: Detroit News]