DOT 35-10
Friday, February 26, 2010
Contact: Olivia Alair
Telephone:(202) 366-4570

Smiths’ car will be studied at NHTSA Vehicle Research and Test Center in East Liberty OH

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Friday that it has purchased the Toyota-made Lexus ES350 formerly owned by Rhonda and Eddie Smith. The Smiths testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week about an unintended acceleration event that Rhonda Smith reported she experienced while driving the car in 2006.

The car was sold with 3,000 miles on it several years ago, and NHTSA has now acquired it with approximately 30,000 miles on the odometer. The Smiths’ former car is being taken to NHTSA’s Vehicle Research & Test Center (VRTC) in East Liberty, OH, where it will be thoroughly studied.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Secretary LaHood.  “NHTSA will thoroughly examine the Smiths’ car as we work to get to the bottom of possible causes for sudden acceleration.”

“NHTSA has the most active defects investigations program in the world,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Our team is committed to finding possible causes for sudden acceleration to ensure that the vehicles on our roads are as safe as possible.”

For more information, consumers should visit www.nhtsa.gov or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.