Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday its investigation of nearly 2,000 cases of unintended acceleration had found no problem with its electronic throttle system, and that driver error was to blame in some cases.
The world's top automaker made the statement after a Wall Street Journal report that early results of the U.S. government's analysis of dozens of data recorders from Toyota vehicles suggested that some drivers were at fault in cases of sudden acceleration.
Citing people familiar with the unreleased results of the U.S. Department of Transportation's tests, the paper said some drivers who said their Toyotas or Lexuses surged out of control might have pushed the accelerator when they meant to brake.
The Department of Transportation would not confirm the report, Reuters says.
The Toyota City, Japan-based company has reviewed about 2,000 reports of unintended acceleration since March, including analyses of information from event-data recorders when the incidents involved crashes, said Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman in Torrance, California.
"There are a variety of causes -- pedal entrapment, sticky pedal, other foreign objects in the car" and "pedal misapplication," Michels said yesterday in a telephone interview. Asked how many crashes were linked to pushing the accelerator when motorists thought they were pushing the brake pedal, he said, "virtually all."
The company has yet to find evidence of electronic malfunctions, he said. Toyota rose 135 yen, or 4.3 percent, to 3,260 yen at 9:45 a.m. in Tokyo trading, BusinessWeek reports.
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