The federal government continues to dig deeper into allegations of Toyota’s unintended acceleration problems. On March 30, NHSTA chairman Ray LaHood announced two (2) new studies that are being undertaken to investigate this problem. The National Academy of Sciences, will examine the broad subject of unintended acceleration and electronic vehicle controls across the entire automotive industry. Second, NASA engineers with expertise in areas such as computer controlled electronic systems, electromagnetic interference and software integrity to help tackle the issue of unintended vehicle acceleration in Toyotas.
“We are determined to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration,” said Secretary LaHood. “For the safety of the American driving public, we must do everything possible to understand what is happening. And that is why we are tapping the best minds around.”
Secretary LaHood has also asked the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) to review whether NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) has the necessary resources and systems to identify and address safety defects as it moves forward.
Both studies – from the National Academy of Sciences and from NHTSA – will be peer reviewed by scientific experts. The total cost of the two studies is expected to come to approximately $3 million, including the cost of purchasing cars that have allegedly experienced unintended acceleration to be studied.
I will be interested in hearing the results of these studies and how they will affect future wrongful death and class action litigation. And more important, how the results can be used to make vehicles safer.
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