Currently reading: 'Driver error in Toyota incidents'
Investigation in the US reveals driver error may have been to blame in the Toyota recall scandal

Driver error may have been a cause of many of the accidents Toyota cars were involved in during the much-publicised sticking accelerator scandal.

Initial findings from an investigation, being conducted by the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), looking into cases of “unintended acceleration”, said data recorders showed the brakes may not have been applied by the driver in 35 of the 58 incidents it had examined.

Read more on the fine Toyota paid to the US over the recall scandal

In nine of the 58 cases, the NHTSA told Congress in a briefing, the brakes had been applied late and in one incident both the brake and accelerator pedals were depressed at the same time.

The NHTSA said it was not drawing any conclusions from its initial report, while a spokesman from the US Transportation Department said the findings would form “one small part” of the government’s plans to “get to the bottom of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles”.

"At this early stage period in the investigation, engineers have not identified any new safety defects," a department spokesman explained.

Around 10 million Toyotas have been recalled globally in the past year, many for a fault with sticking accelerators.

See all the latest Toyota reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Add a comment…
gathome 13 August 2010

Re: 'Driver error in Toyota incidents'

Big S wrote:

Maybe the cruise control decided to help out. I've had 'unintended acceleration' when I've had cruise control on, skipped past a line of slow moving traffic on the motorway and then headed towards an slip road with my foot back off the gas. When the cruise control picks up again the unexpected acceleration can feel disconcerting even if it takes only an instant to either brake or flick the cruise control off again.

But what if the cruise control brain gets it wrong?

I wonder what proportion of drivers know exactly what features their cars have and how they should be operated.

I've noticed that over the years as cars get so complicated, and in a logistical cost cutting move one handbook is intended to cover all markets speaking English, despite different equipment in different markets. The handbooks have started to get bigger than "Tolstoy's War and Peace" Wouldn't be surprised to see that you could take a GCSE, or perhaps a Mastermind Specialist Subject in a car's handbook soon. Bet very few owners take the trouble to read them

theonlydt 13 August 2010

Re: 'Driver error in Toyota incidents'

Somewhere out there Horseandcart/Nicksheele/all his other names is screaming at the computer "no it's not true!" and frantically searching for any website that supports his theory. Unfortunately all his google searching is performed using naughty words, have "new world order" and "VW's are my only friend" in them, so all he gets are 139 hits on his own ramblings....

Incidentally I've never had a recall on any of the "Jap crap" I've owned, though maybe the recall on my wife's Honda PS125 counts? If I had to trust my life to a country's car industry, it'd be Japan.

Mini1 13 August 2010

Re: 'Driver error in Toyota incidents'

memyselfandi wrote:
Teach and test drivers what to do when your accelerator sticks/a tyre blows/your car skids. Most of it is common sense as we all know, but actually experiencing it (no matter how diluted for safety that experience is) imo would make a big difference.
Skidding is part of the pass plus. But tyre blow-out type stuff would be useful, I think. They'd need specialised tracks to carry this out probably.