Consumer advocates Clarence Ditlow and Joan Claybrook have challenged results from a new NASA report, which reveal that electronics are not to blame for unintended acceleration in certain Toyota vehicles. According to a CNN article, the advocates argued that NASA did not conduct enough testing since it only examined nine cars. However, the article points out that NASA analyzed owner questionnaires for 9,698 vehicles, including 3,054 Toyotas. NASA engineers also evaluated over 280,000 lines of software code for bugs, thoroughly analyzed mechanical components, and used electromechanical radiation on the vehicles in question.
In March 2010, Ditlow, who is the head of the Center for Auto Safety, accused the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Transportation of missing possible issues with electronic throttle control, computer software, and brake malfunctions.
As many of us know, Toyota recalled 8 million vehicles after NHTSA acknowledged two mechanical defects in affected vehicle models. These defects related to unsuitable floor mats and accelerator pedals that would become stuck. The investigation into potential electronic defects arose after motorists complained about not being able to stop their vehicles in addition to sudden acceleration.
NASA’s report doesn’t necessarily mean that design changes should not be implemented to help lower incidents of unintended acceleration. Regulations are being taken into consideration by NHTSA regarding whether cars should be required to have brake override systems. There is also talk that NHTSA will conduct research into the placement and design of accelerator and brake pedals to help lower the chances of driver error.
Vehicle defects affect a car’s use, value, and safety. As a California lemon law attorney, Howard D. Silver advocates for consumer rights and has the necessary experience to help you successfully handle your lemon vehicle problem. If you believe your vehicle is a lemon, call 1-800-49-LEMON for a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights.