US: Toyota US unit "strongly objects" to NHTSA claims
A Toyota technician in the UK modifying an accelerator for the global 'sticky' pedal recall
Toyota Motor Sales USA (TMS) has said it "strongly objects to allegations that Toyota 'planted' a news story in the Wall Street Journal regarding NHTSA investigations into unintended acceleration", as an NHTSA spokeswoman last week claimed in a telephone interview with just-auto.
In a statement emailed to just-auto, TMS corporate communications executive Scott Deyager said: "Toyota does not have access to NHTSA investigation data and the agency has not reported its findings to Toyota.
"In fact, in a subsequent interview, one of the authors of the article indicated that the source was a government agency. Any suggestion that Toyota prompted the news report is false.
"The following is Toyota’s response to the original Wall Street Journal report:
"NHTSA has not provided its findings to Toyota, therefore we cannot confirm the report. Toyota's own vehicle evaluations have confirmed that the remedies it developed for sticking accelerator pedal and potential accelerator pedal entrapment by an unsecured or incompatible floor mat are effective.
"We have also confirmed several different causes for unintended acceleration reports including pedal entrapment by floor mats, pedal misapplication and normal vehicle functions such as engine idle up for cold start or air conditioning loads.
"Toyota’s preliminary investigations involving event data recorder (EDR) data, have been consistent with findings attributed to government investigations by the Wall Street Journal.
"In no case have we found electronic throttle controls to be a cause. Through our SMART (Swift Market Analysis and Response Teams) process, we continue to investigate concerns of unintended acceleration and this process has not concluded."