The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into the possibility that the root of the gas pedal problem in Toyota cars is in the electronic throttle control system (ETCS) which is found in many models.
Toyota recently claimed that it “rigorously tested” its ETCS under a variety of circumstances, including subjecting the ETCS to various forms of electromagnetic radiation while in use and the car manufacturer has been unable to find any problems, according to CNN.com.
Toyota’s proposed solution to the gas pedal problem is a steel rod that would reduce friction within the pedal system. However, this fix may not actually solve the problem. According to thetruthaboutcars.com , the fix “will profoundly reduce the likelihood or possibility of the pedal being stuck or slow to return. But the trade-off may not be immaterial. Undoubtedly, Toyota’s intended degree of friction will be compromised by this fix, to one degree or another. And drivers may find the fix unpleasant or uncomfortable, also to some degree or another. Clearly, this fix is a band aid to fix the intrinsic limitations of this design.”
If it’s discovered the actual problem is within the ETCS, Toyota may be forced to issue another major recall (their most recent recall involved over four million cars). Class action lawsuits have been filed against Toyota and one of the suits alleges that gas pedal problems were arising in 2002 and the ETCS is the culprit.
Here’s a video discussing the suspicion of ETCS problems with the sudden acceleration issue…
The NHTSA is considering issuing civil penalties against Toyota over their handling of the recall, according to the CNN article . Toyota initially claimed the problem was with their floor mats , then claimed it was due to the gas pedal being too long , and now they claim the steel rod fix will solve the problem. All the while, Toyota drivers were on the road at risk of a potential sudden acceleration which could lead to a major car wreck and serious injuries.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently stated Toyota drivers should stop driving their cars in the hopes of preventing a serious car accident , but then changed his statements and encouraged Toyota drivers to take their car to a dealership so they can get the steel rod “fix.”
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.