Toyota faces another unintended-acceleration investigation

September 29, 2014
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently considering another investigation into reports of unintended acceleration with Toyota vehicles.

The agency has received a petition from the driver of a 2010 Corolla who blames a parking accident on low-speed surging. After reviewing the NHTSA complaint database, the owner claims to have found 163 reports of similar behavior.

“Vehicle idled normally for approximately 15 minutes while I cleared snow from the driveway,” begins one complaint alleging similar behavior, but no crash. “I entered vehicle, put my foot on the brake and shifted into reverse. Accelerator suddenly went to full throttle. I managed to shift back into park and the engine rpm increased to red-line level.”

The reports appear to focus on Toyota’s electronic throttle control system (ETCS-i) as a potential cause. The same system can be found in Corollas with model years ranging from 2006 through 2010.

The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation promises to evaluate all 163 complaints before determining if a deeper inquiry is warranted, though 22 of the owner filings have already been flagged as outside the scope of the petition request.

The allegations echo the unintended-acceleration problems that led Toyota to recall millions of vehicles several years ago. After agreeing to a $1.2 billion settlement over its recall mishandling, Toyota claimed to have made “fundamental changes” to prevent such scenarios from reoccurring.

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