Sunday, January 31, 2010

How To Deal With Unintended Acceleration

Lexus and Toyota models were stung recently by claims that faulty floor mats had jammed throttle pedals and were causing wide-open acceleration. Toyota has agreed to a largest-ever recall of 4.3 million vehicles (which could cost $250 million or more) to modify the gas pedals and remove unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mats. Not since Audi was decimated by accusations of unintended acceleration in the late 1980s has the topic of runaway cars received so much media attention.
The furor began when an off-duty California Highway Patrolman crashed a loaner Lexus ES350 at high speed, killing himself, his wife and their daughter, and his brother-in-law. It was reported that someone, either the officer or his brother-in-law, called 9-1-1 moments before the crash, saying that the “accelerator is stuck . . . there’s no brake.”

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