An investigation by the US government has concluded that there is no electronic-based cause for unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The finding may help ease criticism against Toyota in the United States.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday.
LaHood said the results of the investigation, jointly conducted with NASA, show that unintended acceleration was caused by two mechanical problems -- sticky gas pedals and loose floor mats.
He praised Toyota for being cooperative during the investigation. LaHood added that he told his daughter to buy a Toyota when she asked him for advice last year.
The transportation secretary had earlier stirred controversy by warning consumers not to drive Toyota vehicles. He quickly backed off those comments.
The harsh criticisms leveled at Toyota for its massive recalls in 2009 and 2010 have abated in recent months. But speculation over possible links between the vehicles' electronic control systems and sudden acceleration have lingered, dampening the automaker's sales in the US market.
Observers say the latest announcement may affect the outcome of ongoing damages suits filed against Toyota in connection with accidents involving its vehicles.
Wed, 09 Feb 2011 13:02:00 +0900(JST)