I remain skeptical in the light of Toyota’s latest statements that driver error caused “virtually all” of the unintended acceleration problems that have plagued the carmaker for the past decade.
Per the Wall Street Journal, NHTSA analysis of the affected cars’ “black boxes” found instances in which throttles were open and brakes hadn’t been deployed, suggesting drivers were pressing the gas, not the brake. (NHTSA isn’t commenting.)
The dreaded sudden unintended acceleration is supposed to have caused up to 89 deaths in 71 crashes since 2000.
Admitting in advance that my reasons are somewhat circumstantial, I would counter that Toyota
1. Has failed to provide solid evidence to refute a university researcher’s claim that the electronics wiring could be the cause, and that the car’s software lacked a fault code to point out the defect.
2. Has failed to explain why the rate of accidents attributed to SUA is not similar in competitors’ vehicles.
That said, the shims the carmaker has installed beneath the accelerators, the complaints over SUA appear to have subsided. Perhaps Toyota was correct, after all.
(Full disclosure: My wife drives a Prius.)