WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The Washington Post criticized the U.S. response to the problem of Toyota cars suddenly accelerating in an editorial Wednesday, saying a “dose of politically induced hysteria” was partly to blame for a sudden increase in malfunction reports.

The newspaper said congressional hearings at which Toyota executives testified were “aimed more at generating headlines than getting to the bottom of a confusing situation.”

The Transportation Department said Tuesday that a 10-month investigation found that no glitches in the electronic throttle control system of Toyota vehicles were to blame for unintended acceleration cases.

While the department found that driver error — which it called “pedal misapplication” in its report — accounted for some of the reported incidents, the daily said it was difficult for Toyota to blame its customers at the time because doing so “would have been a public relations disaster.”

The probe was launched at the request of Congress, which argued that a glitch in the electronic control system in Toyota vehicles could have been behind the sudden unintended acceleration cases.

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