Unintended Acceleration Study Results are Released

Feb. 8, 2011: Unprecedented ten-month study of potential electronics-based causes for unintended acceleration in Toyotas was launched last spring and enlisted NASA engineers to conduct new research into whether electronics systems or electromagnetic interference played a role in alleged incidents of unintended acceleration. NASA did not find an electronic cause of large throttle openings that can result in UA incidents. NHTSA did not find a vehicle-based cause of those incidents in addition to those causes already addressed by Toyota recalls. Complete details


Toyota Will Pay Additional $32.425 Million as Result of 2 DOT Investigations

Dec. 20: Toyota has agreed to pay an additional $32.425 million in civil penalties as the result of two separate investigations into the automaker's handling of auto recalls. Toyota will pay the maximum fines allowable under the law - $16.375 million in one case and $16.050 million in the other - in response to the Department's assertion that it failed to comply with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act for reporting safety defects to NHTSA. News Release


Timeliness of 2005 Toyota Steering Relay Rod Recall Under Investigation

May 10: NHTSA opened an investigation into whether, in 2005, Toyota notified the agency of a steering relay rod safety defect within five business days of learning of the defect’s existence, as is required by law. In 2004, Toyota conducted a recall in Japan for Hilux trucks with steering relay rods prone to fatiguing, cracking and possibly breaking, causing the vehicle to lose steering control. At that time, Toyota informed NHTSA that the safety defect was isolated to vehicles in Japan and that the company had not received similar field information within the United States. In 2005, however, Toyota informed NHTSA the steering relay rod defect was present in several models sold in the U.S. and conducted a recall. News Release


Toyota Pays $16.375 Million Civil Fine

April 19: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the following statement after Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to pay a $16.375 million fine – the largest fine permitted by law – for failing to notify NHTSA of a dangerous pedal defect for almost four months: “By failing to report known safety problems as it is required to do under the law, Toyota put consumers at risk. I am pleased that Toyota has accepted responsibility for violating its legal obligations to report any defects promptly. We are continuing to investigate whether the company has lived up to all its disclosure obligations.” News Release


Secretary LaHood Announces DOT is Seeking Maximum Civil Penalty from Toyota

April 5: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that NHTSA is seeking the maximum civil penalty of $16.375 million against Toyota Motor Corporation for failing to notify the auto safety agency of the dangerous “sticky pedal” defect for at least four months, despite knowing of the potential risk to consumers. Approximately 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. were recalled in late January for the sticky pedal defect. The penalty being sought against Toyota would be the largest civil penalty ever assessed against an auto manufacturer by NHTSA. News Release


Major Investigations to Resolve Issue of Sudden Acceleration are Announced

March 30: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced two major investigations designed to answer questions surrounding the issue of unintended vehicle acceleration. The National Academy of Sciences will examine the broad subject of unintended acceleration and electronic vehicle controls across the entire automotive industry. Separately, NHTSA has enlisted 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. News Release


NHTSA Launches Probe into Timeliness of Three Toyota Recalls

Feb. 16: NHTSA announced it is using its statutory authority to obtain documents from Toyota to determine if the automaker conducted three of its recent recalls in a timely manner. News Release


NHTSA’s Advice to Toyota Customers

Feb. 10: Toyota consumers should check the provided list of recalled vehicles and pay close attention to their vehicles. If you are experiencing any problems with your Toyota vehicle, park the vehicle in a safe place and immediately call your Toyota dealer or Toyota’s North American headquarters at 1-800-331-4331. Consumer Advisory


Department of Transportation Responds to Third Toyota Recall

Feb. 9: The DOT learned today of a third Toyota recall involving 2010 Prius hybrids and Lexus HS 250h vehicles experiencing brake system problems. Some 2010 Camrys prone to brake fluid leaks have also been recalled. "Last Thursday, NHTSA opened a formal investigation of 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles in response to consumer complaints about braking difficulties, and today, Toyota has acknowledged a safety defect," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. LaHood also reminded owners of affected vehicles: "If you are concerned about your car's braking performance, contact your Toyota dealer." News Release


Investigation Opened Regarding 2010 Toyota Prius Braking Issue

Feb. 4: NHTSA today announced it is opening a formal investigation of the Toyota Prius Hybrid model year 2010 to look into allegations of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump. News Release


Transportation Secretary LaHood Statement on Toyota Recalls

Feb. 3: Sec. Ray LaHood made the following statement on the Toyota recalls: “I want to encourage owners of any recalled Toyota models to contact their local dealer and get their vehicles fixed as soon as possible. NHTSA will continue to hold Toyota’s feet to the fire to make sure that they are doing everything they have promised to make their vehicles safe. We will continue to investigate all possible causes of these safety issues.”


Toyota Owners Advised of Actions to Take Regarding Two Separate Recalls

Feb. 1: NHTSA informed owners of certain Toyota, Lexus and Pontiac Vibe vehicles about actions they should take if the accelerator gets stuck or is slow to return under certain conditions. Read the Advisory for Complete Details


Toyota Announces Fix for Accelerator Pedal Entrapment Problem

11/25/2009: NHTSA announced that Toyota has identified a vehicle-based remedy to fix a sudden acceleration safety issue involving floor mats trapping accelerator pedals in various Toyota and Lexus models. News Release