In December 2009, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) retained Exponent, one of the country’s leading engineering and scientific consulting firms, to help the company evaluate reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles equipped with the Electronic Throttle Control System with Intelligence (“ETCS-i”) system.
Exponent’s current evaluation, which is ongoing, involves extensive testing on multiple vehicles and individual components under a variety of normal and abnormal conditions.
Exponent’s research will be comprehensive and subject to peer review, and Toyota will make the results of this comprehensive, independent evaluation available to the public when it is completed.
An initial progress report from Exponent was recently provided to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Comments about this interim report from other automotive experts, which were referenced in a response letter from the House Committee, do not relate to any flaws in the work that Exponent has done, but rather suggest examples of additional work that could be performed. Exponent’s engineers and scientists are performing additional analyses, and that information will be released once the work is complete.
With regards to Exponent's progress report, two Ph.D. level engineers and support staff repeated the tests described on multiple vehicles. Two other senior level engineers independently repeated several of the tests. The report was then reviewed by four Ph.D.-level engineers before its release. It was further reviewed by two senior level professionals. The scope and methodology of these tests are clearly detailed in the report, providing all of the information necessary for the results to be independently verified.
Toyota believes Exponent, which has conducted a number of testing projects for Toyota in the past, is an appropriate choice to conduct this comprehensive, independent testing of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
Exponent's credentials are widely recognized, and the firm has conducted testing for a wide variety of clients from the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Founded in 1967, Exponent has conducted more than 50,000 in-depth investigations in more than 90 technical disciplines. Its better-known projects include analysis of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, the 1988 explosion of the Piper Alpha oil platform, and the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center
More information on Exponent’s record of accomplishments and statement of qualifications can be found here.