Toyota’s decision to replace accelerator pedals on millions of its vehicles will not completely fix the company’s sudden acceleration problem, believes an auto safety expert who has been tracking reports of runaway Toyotas.
Toyota today said it will change the design of its accelerator pedals as well as the shape of the floor under the pedal, saying the remedy will "address the root cause of the potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals" in its vehicles.
However, safety expert Sean Kane said the recall doesn’t address hundreds of runaway Toyota cases he has uncovered where owners insist floor mats cannot be blamed. "What concerns me is that this recall still doesn’t get to the root cause of the non-floor mat sudden acceleration cases," said Kane, who heads the firm Safety Research & Strategies. Overall, the firm says it discovered over 2,000 Toyota sudden acceleration cases involving 16 deaths and 243 injuries.
More than 5 years ago, the Center for Auto Safety identified the electronic throttle control as the most likely source of the sudden acceleration defect. However, Toyota continues to public deny the possibility.
Toyota continues to deny that electronic technology was a factor in any reported case of unintended acceleration, said spokesman Mike Michels.
If there is no problem with the electronic throttle control system, then why is Toyota rolling out a "smart brake" technology to override the throttle when the brake is applied? If there is a problem with the electronic throttle control, then why doesn’t Toyota provide the "smart brake" in all its vehicles. Clearly Toyota is not doing enough to protect its customers and the rest of us driving on American roads and highways.
Even the fixes Toyota has finally come up with won’t be available until at least April of next year.
Other manufacturers have provided the "smart brake" system for years. This system overrides the throttle input when the brake is applied and makes sure that the car is able to stop. Toyota refused to provide this critical safety feature for years despite the ongoing sudden acceleration problems.
Does Toyota think it doesn’t have to play by the same rules as the rest of us?
Too many people have been injured or killed already.
Until Toyota finally creates a solution that actually fixes the problem, all Toyota drivers must be prepared. You can learn how to stop your vehicle if it experiences the sudden acceleration problem at this post.
You can learn more about the Toyota sudden acceleration defect by reading these previous reports of Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem:
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Brett Emison is currently a partner at Langdon & Emison, a firm dedicated to helping injured victims across the country from their primary office near Kansas City. Mainly focusing on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as complex mass tort and dangerous drug cases, Mr. Emison often deals with automotive defects, automobile crashes, railroad crossing accidents (train accidents), trucking accidents, dangerous and defective drugs, defective medical devices.