February 8, 2011 4:00 PM Subscribe
posted by 2bucksplus (69 comments total)
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The U.S. Department of Transportation released results from the joint National Highway Traffic Safety Administration/NASA study on sudden vehicle acceleration in Toyota cars requested Spring 2010 by Congress. Short version: NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles capable of producing the large throttle openings required to create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents.
NHTSA's analysis indicated that these types of complaints generally do not appear to involve vehicle-based causes and that, where the complainant indicated that brakes were ineffective...the most likely cause of the acceleration was actually pedal misapplication (i.e., the driver's unintended application of the accelerator rather than, or in addition to, the brake).
The NHTSA has proposed a few new, non-Toyota specific actions as a result of this study:
* Propose rules, by the end of 2011, to require brake override systems, to standardize operation of keyless ignition systems, and to require the installation of event data recorders in all passenger vehicles;
* Begin broad research on the reliability and security of electronic control systems;
* Research the placement and design of accelerator and brake pedals, as well as driver usage of pedals, to determine whether design and placement can be improved to reduce pedal misapplication.
(The results and findings are available from the link as PDFs)