Since it was first introduced, Toyota has sold more than 40 million cars and trucks featuring ETCS-i. This system has been subjected to comprehensive testing over more than a decade without a single unintended acceleration event, and we remain confident that it is not a cause of unintended acceleration. Indeed, Toyota has never found nor been presented with any scientific evidence of a defect in its ETCS-i that could cause unintended acceleration.
Why is Toyota so confident that there is no defect in its ETCS-i?
Toyota and Lexus vehicles feature an ETCS-i system designed with multiple failsafe strategies and sensors that are tailored to maximize safety by preventing unintended throttle openings and shutting down the system immediately at the first sign of trouble. To learn more about Toyota’s ETCS-i and how it is tested please visit the Background Information page
We test our vehicles extensively to make sure that the fail safes work. For example, between 2005 and 2010 we spent millions of hours checking just the basic level of software code of our vehicles, including 530,000 hours on the 2007 Model Year Camry alone. Then we put together small bits of the code to confirm how they would operate together in the system, and test it again. Then we put that whole piece into a vehicle and we test the vehicle. All in all, from 2005 to 2010, Toyota had a total of 70 million check items for testing the electronic throttle control system software on all of its vehicle models.
In addition, we aggressively investigate customer complaints of unintended acceleration through our Swift Market Analysis Response Team (SMART) business process. To date, we have successfully completed more than 5,000 on-site inspections of vehicles whose owners expressed concern about unintended acceleration. Significantly, not one of these investigations has found that the electronic throttle control system has caused an unintended acceleration event.
Why is this such an important issue in this litigation?
The central claim in the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ lawsuit is that there is a defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system that causes unintended acceleration. However, even after months of intense publicity and multiple scientific investigations, the plaintiffs have neither identified any specific defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system nor advanced any credible scientific theory or proof to support their allegations.
We firmly believe that Toyota's electronic throttle control system is safe, well-designed, thoroughly tested, and robust. We look forward to the time when the science and engineering behind the electronic throttle control system are given a full and fair evaluation by the court. Toyota is confident that the evidence will confirm what millions of Toyota drivers prove every day: they can depend upon their vehicles to provide safe, reliable transportation.
Other than the issues that prompted Toyota’s recalls, has anyone identified any defect in Toyota vehicles that can cause UA?
The two mechanical issues that were the subject of recalls in late 2009 and January 2010 – floor mat entrapment and the “sticky pedal” – are two separate and distinct phenomena. We are addressing both of these issues with our recalls, and have performed more than 80% of the remedies for the sticking pedal recall and more than 60% of the remedies for potential floor mat entrapment.
Have all of the plaintiffs in this case actually experienced UA?
Significantly, many of the plaintiffs do not allege that they have experienced any episode of unintended acceleration. Toyota continues to stand by the proposition it argued before the court, backed by extensive case law, that only drivers who allege they have experienced unintended acceleration in their Toyota vehicle and in any event, those who allege an actual loss because of unintended acceleration should be allowed to pursue claims against the company.
Have the plaintiffs in this case actually lost money because of UA?
While that Court has yet to make that determination, the plaintiffs’ attorneys contend that even individuals who have owned and operated their Toyota for years without experiencing a problem – and, indeed, who continue to use their Toyota to this day – are entitled to financial compensation.
Toyota has argued that only drivers who allege they have experienced unintended acceleration in their Toyota vehicle and in any event, those who have incurred an actual out-of-pocket financial loss because of unintended acceleration should be allowed to pursue claims against the company.
How long is the MDL expected to last?
Although the Court has not yet set a schedule for the remainder of the case, fact discovery and other pretrial matters are expected to take a substantial amount of time to complete.