Toyota Sudden Acceleration Problems Continue

Toyota Headquarter Toyota City
Toyota Headquarters Toyota City

Although the Toyota sudden acceleration problem isn’t in the headlines everyday as it was last month, rest assured the problem is not going away any time soon. Toyota executives were testifying on Capitol Hill yesterday about results of the engineering study into sudden acceleration complaints.

Some on the Hill have even accused the company of fixing the outcome, as reported by “What we have learned is deeply troubling” said Rep. Henry Waxman. “There is no evidence that Toyota has conducted extensive or rigorous testing of its vehicles for potential defects that could cause sudden unintended acceleration.”

Exponent To Research Sudden Acceleration

The consulting firm hired by Toyota to research the sudden acceleration cases is now under fire. The company, Exponent, is part of an industry of firms that do research and analysis for hire by companies facing product disputes. Exponent is the most prominent such firm used primarily by the auto industry for lawsuits and recalls, although they do work with other industries as well.

Critics of Exponent claim they will go to any length to get favorable test results for their clients. Toyota representatives assert a comprehensive evaluation is taking place. “The engineering and scientific consulting firm Exponent has already completed more than 11,000 hours of testing in the analysis of the ETSCI and its comprehensive evaluation is ongoing,” Toyota’s Jim Lentz said.

Toyota’s Sudden Acceleration Webcast

Toyota recently featured Exponent in a webcast designed to discredit the federal testimony from safety experts who believe the sudden acceleration problem is caused by Toyota’s faulty electronics. The consulting firm continues to claim that they have found no problems with the electronics in the Toyota cars. Rep. Waxman doesn’t see any evidence to back that up.

“There was no evidence that Toyota or NHTSA took a serious look at the possibility that electronics defects could be causing the problem,” Waxman said. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., accused Exponent of withholding documents from the committee and modifying others before submitting them.

Waxman noted Toyota had shown no records of tests performed by suppliers on its electric throttle control systems. “Toyota has repeatedly told the public it has conducted extensive testing of its vehicles for electronic defects. We can find no basis for these assertions,” said Waxman.

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“Toyota’s assertions may be good public relations but they don’t appear to be true.” Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, suggested that a document the committee obtained shows that Toyota and Exponent aren’t really looking for answers to the problem.  Braley said: “Toyota’s trial lawyers, not Toyota, hired Exponent to help with class action suits … not to get to the bottom of this problem.”

I certainly hope we get an answer to the sudden acceleration problem soon, too many lives are at stake not to. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the sudden acceleration of your automobile, please contact a personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, we can help you.

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