The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that the throttles were wide open and the brakes weren’t engaged at the time of the crash.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the early results suggest that some drivers who said their Toyotas and Lexuses surged out of control were mistakenly flooring the accelerator when they intended to jam on the brakes. The findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) involve a sample of the reports in which a driver of a Toyota vehicle said the brakes were depressed but failed to stop the car from accelerating and ultimately crashing.
The findings appear to support Toyota’s position that sudden-acceleration reports involving its vehicles weren’t caused by electronic glitches in computer-controlled throttle systems, as some safety advocates and plaintiffs’ attorneys have alleged.
The data recorders analyzed by NHTSA were selected by the agency, not Toyota, based on complaints the drivers had filed with the government. Toyota hasn’t been involved in interpreting the data.