US: Toyota "planted" driver error story: NHTSA
Toyota US at one point held a press conference at which 'independent' consultants dismissed suggestions of faulty electronics
Reports from the US that driver error was the cause of the vast majority of Toyota's accelerator problems have been dismissed by a key government agency as "planted".
Widespread speculation has centred on initial findings from the US Department of Transportation (DOT), of which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part, that drivers have been to blame for the unintended acceleration by pressing wrong pedals.
However, the NHTSA, the body responsible for examining the Toyota pedal problems in the US, has firmly rebutted claims the story came from the safety organisation.
"That story was planted by Toyota," an NHTSA spokeswoman in Washington told just-auto. "Toyota is the source - yes we know that for definite.
"It is [the] Toyota PR machine. We knew they were going to put it out."
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) yesterday declined to comment on the reports, but today (15 July) said it had read the articles.
"There have been conversations with Toyota in the US and Japan and people involved in the investigations but it is pretty hard from Brussels to have a view on what was said to whom and at what moment," a TME spokesman in Belgium told just-auto.
"The story quotes a spokesperson so I assume there was some contact between [a newspaper] and Toyota. This seems a bit general but of course driver error could be part of it."
Toyota recalled more than eight million vehicles worldwide as part of its investigations into the acceleration issues.
Toyota in Tokyo could not be reached for comment.
Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu on Friday said it would pull out of the European market within two years because of the strong yen cutting profits. The brand has already been pulled from showrooms by its U...
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global transmissions sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this report to gain...
Toyota Motor Sales USA and advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA have begun the marketing campaign for the new Prius family of vehicles with a campaign called Prius Goes Plural whcih challenges the ...
Toyota Motor Europe reported total sales of 808,311 vehicles in the European, Israel and central Asian markets it is responsible for in 2010, exceeding the target of 800,000 vehicles....
Dana Holding has reached a settlement with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North Americafor warranty claims related to frames (chassis) produced by the company's former structural products bu...
Opel says it will be some time before a final decision is made concerning the siting of the Ampera's European manufacturing base, although the UK has made strong representation to be on the short list...
- COMMENT: ADAS rollout comes with human issues
- COMMENT: Why the VW Touareg Hybrid had to die
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Driving for fun...
- ANALYSIS: Will the XE work for Jaguar?
- ANALYSIS: Autonomous cars and interior design
- Chinese brands have failed to catch on in Brazil
- Finally, Ford's Mustang is 'official' for Europe
- Marchionne merger overtures to GM's Barra rebuffed
- Volvo China plant starts US exports
- Big Four steadily losing Brazilian market share