WASHINGTON – U.S. regulators told Congress on Tuesday that their study showed that brakes were not applied in many cases of alleged sudden unintended acceleration of Toyota Motor Corp. cars, suggesting the accelerator pedal was applied mistakenly instead of the brake.
Their interim study has also found no new cause of unintended acceleration other than the two defects already known — pedal entrapment and sticking gas pedals.
Of the 58 cases studied, 35 recorders showed that brakes were not applied, the report said, adding that 14 cases involved partial braking while “one incident involved a case of pedal entrapment.”
According to the interim report, officials of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “have drawn no conclusions about additional causes of unintended acceleration in Toyotas beyond the two defects already known — pedal entrapment and sticking gas pedals.”
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other transport authorities briefed key members of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee about the findings.
U.S. lawmakers have questioned whether possible defects in the electronic throttle control system in Toyota vehicles are involved in sudden unintended acceleration, but the automaker has denied such a possibility and launched massive recalls worldwide to fix floor-mat problems and sticking gas pedals.
Toyota said it did not find any defect in its electronic throttle control system after checking over 4,000 units on its own. NHTSA says its study will be completed in the fall or later.
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