Probe: Driver Error Caused Unintended Acceleration The Transportation Department says an investigation into sudden, unintended acceleration of Toyotas shows they were caused by mechanical problems, not electronic glitches. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says NASA engineers examined hundreds of thousands of lines of software code to look for flaws.
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Probe: Driver Error Caused Unintended Acceleration

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Probe: Driver Error Caused Unintended Acceleration

Probe: Driver Error Caused Unintended Acceleration

Probe: Driver Error Caused Unintended Acceleration

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133614332/133614322" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Transportation Department says an investigation into sudden, unintended acceleration of Toyotas shows they were caused by mechanical problems, not electronic glitches. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says NASA engineers examined hundreds of thousands of lines of software code to look for flaws.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

As Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, it's very good news for a company still trying to rebuild its reputation.

(SOUNDBITE OF METAL)

TRACY SAMILTON: Dean Stewart is service manager for the dealership.

DEAN STEWART: I mean we were open seven days a week, we had two shifts, we were working 90 hours a week just to make sure we could take care of our customers.

SAMILTON: NASA scientists found no evidence for those claims. They did find there was pedal misapplication. There's another way to say that.

STEWART: Driver error.

SAMILTON: Michelle Krebs is an auto analyst with Edmunds.

MICHELLE KREBS: What we always need to think about is: why is there driver error? A lot of times that is caused by design. And Toyota indeed went back to the drawing board and did some redesign on its pedals.

SAMILTON: John Pottow is a law professor at the University of Michigan.

JOHN POTTOW: In terms of these lawsuits, I don't want to say the lawsuits are dead, but it's certainly time when you have that awkward discussion about the living will.

SAMILTON: But Edmunds analyst Michelle Krebs sees a silver lining. She says Toyota is learning from the mistakes it made even before the recalls.

KREBS: They didn't listen to what was going on in the United States back in Japan where all the decisions were made. They are trying to fix that.

SAMILTON: For NPR News, I'm Tracy Samilton in Ann Arbor.

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