NASA Report Concludes Toyota Sudden Acceleration Accidents Result from Mechanical Systems
Toyota sudden acceleration issues have dominated the auto industry product liability news, including massive recalls and the recent settlement of a $10 million sudden acceleration wrongful death lawsuit. A report just released by NASA has concluded that the sudden acceleration accidents are a result of mechanical failures such as faulty floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals rather than electronic system defects. Federal regulators are considering having the automaker install a number of safety systems to reduce the risk of future sudden acceleration car accidents.
The study concluded that floor mats that could jam the accelerator pedal and sticky accelerator pedals cause the incidents of sudden unintended acceleration. Toyota has already recalled 8 million U.S. vehicles because of the sudden acceleration product defect. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we represent those who suffer serious injuries or families of those who suffer wrongful death in sudden acceleration accidents in Georgia and throughout the Southeast.
In the wake of the study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering a new rule that would require brake override systems that would cut off engine power when a driver depresses the brake pedal. This would permit a driver to stop a vehicle even when the gas pedal is stuck. Another measure being considered by the NHTSA is standardization of push button ignition systems because these systems can be confusing to drivers trying to turn off the engine when a car is accelerating uncontrollably and not responding to the driver depressing the brake pedal.
Because determining the cause of sudden acceleration accidents can be complicated, the NHTSA also is considering making data recorders mandatory on all new vehicles. These data recorders would make it easier to determine the cause of a car accident by providing information on both the driver's actions and vehicle malfunctions immediately prior to a collision.
Toyota has suffered a serious blow to its reputation because of recent recall issues. Along with the floor mat and sticky accelerator issues, Toyota vehicles have also had to be recalled because some vehicles have been plagued with defects in steering components, structural parts, brakes and engine control circuit boards. The company received a $34 million fine for failing to report defects involving the floor mats and a defect that could cause a loss of steering control. The company was also hit with a $16.4 million fine for failing to promptly notify federal regulators of sticky pedal problems. The fines levied against Toyota for not promptly disclosing these defects are the largest ever against a car manufacturer.
Some industry experts speculate that despite the study results, there may still be electronic throttle control problems that contribute to sudden unintended acceleration incidents. These experts point out that just because NASA engineers had difficulties reproducing the problem does not mean that it has not occurred. Sudden acceleration accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death because of the force of the impact as the vehicles have reportedly accelerated to speeds in excess of 100 mph. If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious Georgia car accident which may have been caused by sudden unintended acceleration, contact Montlick & Associates for a Free Consultation about your rights to compensation for your injuries.
Our Georgia sudden acceleration lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.