Contrary to some press reports, Jim Lentz’s testimony to Congress did not reflect a change in Toyota’s position regarding whether its recalls effectively address unintended acceleration issues in certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
As Mr. Lentz said in his opening statement, Toyota has rigorously tested its solutions and we are confident that with these repairs, Toyota vehicles will be among the safest on the road today. Further, we are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control system in our vehicles. We have designed our electronic system with multiple fail-safe mechanisms to shut off or reduce engine power in the event of a system failure. We have done extensive testing of this system and have never found a malfunction that has caused unintended acceleration.
Still, as Mr. Lentz pointed out in his response to questioning, Toyota is being vigilant in addressing consumer complaints and will not ignore any other possible contributing factors to unintended acceleration. Instances of unintended acceleration can be caused by many factors and they are not all sudden or sustained. The category is very broad, affects all major automakers, and can include issues involving cruise control, air conditioning, transmission surges and pedal misapplication. It is in this context that Mr. Lentz stated that Toyota’s recalls will “not totally” address the issue.
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