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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Mar 19 2014, 11:19 AM

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Toyota will pay the largest penalty ever imposed against an automaker.

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 |  Feb 10 2014, 2:32 PM

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Toyota might reach a deal soon with the U.S. Department of Justice that would close a criminal investigation into the way it disclosed customer complaints about unintended acceleration.

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 |  Oct 11 2013, 8:32 AM

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Toyota will not be held responsible for a fatal crash involving a 2006 Toyota Camry, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury said yesterday.

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 |  Sep 25 2013, 8:21 PM

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A Tesla Model S owner has filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alleging that the vehicle accelerated on its own resulting in a crash.

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 |  Jul 19 2013, 8:03 PM

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Toyota has won final approval for a settlement in its unintended acceleration cases where consumers claimed that recalls caused their vehicles to lose value.

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 |  May 30 2013, 2:29 PM

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A Chevrolet Volt owner is claiming to have experienced unintended acceleration during highway driving in his range-extended electric car.

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 |  Apr 08 2013, 3:32 PM

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Unintended acceleration became a buzzword in when more than 14 million Toyota vehicles were recalled in 2009 and 2010 for unintended acceleration. Some of the resulting disputes are still being settled.

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 |  Jan 07 2013, 3:32 PM

Toyota has modified its power buttons in several of its vehicles to allow for a quicker shut down process in a case of unintended acceleration or in a panic situation.

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 |  Dec 26 2012, 5:54 PM

Toyota has announced it has reached an agreement to settle outstanding lawsuits in the US related to the automaker’s previous recalls for unintended acceleration.

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 |  Dec 14 2012, 4:02 PM

Unintended acceleration is an ugly phrase to throw around in the automotive world after the scandal that involved Toyota in 2009 and 2010.

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 |  Nov 14 2012, 1:31 PM

Hoping to put its long saga of recalls and reports of unintended vehicle acceleration to bed, Toyota has agreed to pay $25.5 million in order to settle a U.S. shareholder class action lawsuit.

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 |  Oct 13 2012, 12:01 PM

Toyota took a media beating over the last few years when the unintended acceleration phenomenon hit the news. And even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) has exonerated the Japanese automaker, former owners of Toyota vehicles are now suing for “pure economic loss” from all of the negative press.

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 |  Jul 30 2012, 1:32 PM

Toyota was mostly cleared of wrongdoing in the unintended acceleration case thanks to a verdict from NHTSA. An Iowa senator however, recently asked for the investigation to be reopened, but NHTSA is standing by the verdict.

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 |  Jul 28 2012, 10:01 AM

Earlier this month, the Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) filed a petition with NHTSA regarding the Ford Escape’s unintended acceleration issue and now the safety group is calling for the American automaker to be fined.

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 |  Jul 26 2012, 3:19 PM

It’s been a very bad month for the Ford Escape, in fact it’s been a terrible year with a list of damning issues coming to light, the worst of which is now leading to a recall.

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 |  Jul 13 2012, 11:39 AM

The NHTSA investigation into the unintentionally accelerating Toyotas has not satisfied Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley. He says NHTSA and its team of NASA engineers spuriously ruled out a possible electronic fault that could have caused the cars to malfunction. Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 09 2012, 7:01 PM

A nonprofit consumer safety group is pressing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate complaints surrounding 320,000 Ford Escapes model year 2002 through 2004 that could be subject to unintended acceleration following an earlier recall.

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 |  May 30 2012, 10:17 AM

The sudden-unintended acceleration cases that are being blamed on Toyota have taken an interesting turn, as the Judge overseeing the personal injury lawsuits against the company is warning jurors to take some Toyota employees testimony with a grain of salt. 

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 |  May 10 2012, 11:32 AM

Unintended acceleration is back, this time involving a Hyundai instead of a Toyota. At least that’s what it looks like in a video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday that has already almost gathered a million views. 

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 |  Apr 12 2012, 2:19 PM

Following the rash of alleged self-accelerating cars, U.S. regulators are calling for all automakers to make throttle override mechanisms standard equipment in every light vehicle.

This issue came to light after Toyota’s unintended acceleration case, which spurred NHTSA to begin looking into override technology in 2010.

Essentially, the required system would ensure that the brake will overpower the gas pedal when the two are applied simultaneously and bring the car to a stop. A 60-day comment period will be held to gauge public reaction, at the end of which NHTSA will review the proposal again.

The new mechanisms will help drivers feel safer behind the wheel, which is of course one of consumers top concerns. ”America’s drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles — especially in the event of an emergency,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Although many automakers have already taken a preemptive step and made this type of system available, the law would make it mandatory.

“By updating our safety standards, we’re helping give drivers peace of mind that their brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down while the driver is trying to brake,” LaHood said.

You can see the full NHTSA proposal here.

 |  Mar 02 2012, 8:11 AM

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.

 |  Jan 27 2012, 6:30 PM

After almost a year since regulators closed Toyota’s unintended acceleration investigation, independent auto-safety firm Safety Research and Strategies announced Tuesday that a lawsuit has been filed in federal court requesting for the government to release internal records of said investigation.

According to Safety Research and Strategies, there is reason to believe that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration withheld documents and videos that suggest unintended acceleration incidents were caused by electronics systems rather than floor mats or driver error.

Concerned that evidence of electrical defects in Toyota vehicles have been ignored or concealed, the lawsuit demands all transcripts, recordings, photographs, and videotapes generated from two federal investigators that went to visit the home of senior government official, Joseph H. McClelland, who has experienced unintended acceleration in his 2003 Toyota Prius hybrid.

According to a sworn statement from Mr. McClelland, investigators came to visit his home on May 17th, and documented evidence of sudden acceleration during an accompanied test drive. Mr. McClelland claimed the car over-accelerated in three distinct occasions as electronic displays began to blink wildly. The investigators videotaped the events and inspected floormats to determine the cause. After the drive, the two investigators even connected a computer to the car to read software codes.

Mr. McClelland said, “[The investigators] generally seemed excited. They said they hadn’t seen a vehicle display this type of behavior before, capturing the information in real time, and they said this could be an important vehicle for the sudden accelerations and it might help put some pieces together.”

Ultimately, NHTSA did not follow up with the investigation since the agency believes it’s possible the vehicle’s age and high mileage (280,000 miles) could have been the cause of any number of issues.

Upon learning about McClelland’s incident and inquiry, Safety Research and Strategies co-founder Sean Kane requested for the documents pertaining the McClelland investigation. However, photos and videos were denied and Sean Kane only received six pages of the 22 page case file.

In regards to the lawsuit, Sean Kane explained, “This is all about transparency. This is an agency that selectively releases data that fits its narrative that electronics are not at fault in sudden acceleration.”

NHTSA responded that the agency had already carefully reviewed more than 40,000 complaints each year. There are no plans to reopen the unintended acceleration investigation.

[Source: The New York Times]

 |  Dec 09 2011, 9:00 PM

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is pushing for a new rule that will standardized the time it takes for keyless ignitions to shutoff a vehicle to avoid accidents of unintended acceleration following the aftermath of Toyota‘s record recalls.

The accident that started Toyota’s recalls involved a 2009 Lexus ES350 that filled four people with part of the blame being pointed at the vehicle’s push-button control that required the driver to hold the button down for as long as three seconds in order to stop the engine.

The NHTSA is hoping to standardize the length of time for a push-button ignition to power down a vehicle in half-a-second and the proposed rule would cost less than $500,000 a year to implement. The issue at hand is the driver’s inability to stop a moving vehicle in a panic situation or drivers who unintentionally leave the vehicle in drive leading to vehicle rollaway. Another concern is carbon monoxide poisoning in an enclosed area when drivers leave the engine running when leaving the vehicle.

It can debated if Toyota’s unintended acceleration debacle in 2009 and 2010 can really be pinpointed on push-button ignitions and their delay in shutting off a vehicle. But any enhanced safety to compensate for human error in a panic situation is always welcomed.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Dec 05 2011, 8:15 AM

Nissan showed off three new safety technologies this week in Japan, all three of which are slated to make their way into various Nissan and Infiniti models in the upcoming years.

The first of these three new technologies is a rear camera multi-sensing system, which is Nissan’s result of evolving its Around View Monitor by adding Blind Spot and Lane Departure warnings with Moving Object Detection. Both Blind Spot and Lane Departure warnings have been integrated into Infiniti models in the past, but their Moving Object Detection is all new and set to come out next year. By using the rearview camera and a new image processing system, Moving Object Detection will do what its name says – detect objects and people, highlighting them with a red box while alerting the driver with audio and dashboard warnings. In the video, Nissan also shows off that it works with a front-mounted camera as well.

The next technology that Nissan previewed might have been taken as a slight jab to Toyota‘s misfortunes with drivers accidentally pushing the accelerator rather than the brake. Their Acceleration Suppression system will use the Around View cameras mounted in the bottom of the side mirrors to detect if a driver is pulling into a parking space. By observing the lines painted on the pavement, the system will also engage its front-sensing radar to determine if a wall or another stationary object is in front of the vehicle. By adding one and one together, the vehicle will know if the driver is unintentionally pushing the accelerator pedal rather than the brake and will automatically apply the brakes. Pretty neat.

Lastly, Nissan showed off what is called the Predictive Forward Collision system that uses a radar-based sensor located on the front bumper. The radar’s range has been extended to detect the second vehicle ahead by looking underneath the vehicle ahead of you. Through some calculations, the system will warn the driver if that vehicle doesn’t brake in time or if the driver in front of you swerves out of the way. Both audio and visual warnings will alert the driver of a possible collision and will even pretension the seat belts.

Check out the videos below, showcasing each of the new safety technologies.

[Source: Autoblog]

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