Risks Associated With Unintended Acceleration Minimal Says Panel of Experts

Feel free to let out a huge sigh of relief – a panel of experts investigating the causes of sudden acceleration heard on Monday that the risks of driving a recalled Toyota are minimal.

Paul Fischbeck, a professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, told the National Academy of Sciences that the risk of dying in a traffic crash is 1.05 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.

After examining the 2.3 million Toyota vehicles recalled for sticky pedals, Fischbeck said if all of these vehicles remained unfixed and were kept on the road, the risk of dying would rise to 1.07 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. That equates to an additional six deaths in a year (one Toyota-recall death per 5 billion miles traveled). This raises the odds of dying in any given year by 2 in 1 million.

The Academy is conducting an investigation at the request of the U.S. Transportation Department. This investigation is looking into the causes of sudden acceleration cases in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles as well as across the auto industry.

Toyota has recalled nearly 6 million vehicles for sudden acceleration concerns in the United States. After investigating over 4,000 recalled models where driver’s complained of unintended acceleration, Toyota experts have found no instances of an electronic throttle flaw. These findings have been backed up by initial DOT findings that suggest driver error is to blame in most “unintended acceleration” cases.

[Source: The Detroit News]