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An update on the Toyota accelerator pedal fiasco - Toyota may not be at fault

By Rigval on 14 Aug 2010

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Ahah! After many finger pointing, throwing of accusations, requests of public apologies and other witch hunts, it seems that Toyota cars may not the culprit in the totally blown out of proportion sticking accelerator pedal fiasco. Over the past twelve months or so Toyota have been recalling up to 10million or so of their cars due to supposed safety defects that caused some Toyota cars to accelerate out of control.

It is now being concluded that driver error may have been a cause for many of the incidents. The United States National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now stated that data recorders showed that the brakes may not have been applied by the driver in 35 of the 58 incidents. In 9 of the cases, the NHTSA explained to the United States Congress that the brakes were applied very late and any car would not have been able to stop in time. In one other case, both the brake and accelerator pedals were pressed at the same time.

It could show that big feet may be the cause for this. In a panic situation the driver may have stomped blindly and pressed either the wrong pedal, or both pedals. Well, Americans do have a lot of people wearing size 11s out there.

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Whatever the reason, it could now be seen that Toyota may have been very wrongly accused. Even with their admission of design flaws, it may actually be a conspiracy against them. We all know that when all heck broke loose, Toyota had just overtaken General Motors taking the number one car manufacturer slot. A weak American economy, loss of jobs at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler may have actually caused sinister game plans to come into play. Much like the BlackBerry issue right now where Saudi Arabia, UAE and maybe India deciding to ban the phone's key messenger services. With 500,000-1,000,000 users of the service in those countries, you could tell that security issues aside, many phone companies would benefit from a BlackBerry ban.

The NHTSA has also stated that this is still an 'early stage' of the investigation and it will not be drawing to any conclusions from this report. These findings will however form one part of the United States government to get to the bottom of the 'unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

Whatever the real reason may be, Toyota seems to have managed to survive all the recall and reputation issues. They have actually declared a US$2.23billion nett profit based on their financial year ended 31st March 2010. While they declared slight loss of profit in areas where the recall issue affected them the most (America, Europe), the other areas had recorded growth in sales and this had balanced the books in the end. Imagine making so much profit from a net loss of over US$500million in the previous fiscal year.

Some comeback, like nothing actually happened. If this were really a conspiracy by a few other companies trying to undermine Toyota, they've failed. Big Time. But lets keep our eyes and ears wide open and see what's going to happen next. Remember the NHTSA stated that the investigation is still ongoing.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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