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Defective Toyotas: Fort Lauderdale car accidents can be caused by defective vehicles

Vehicle defects can lead to serious West Palm Beach car accidents. Toyota consumers may be thrilled with the recent information released by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stating that conclusive testing results have indicated that no electronic flaws were found in Toyota vehicles that would explain unintended acceleration by the vehicle.

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers want drivers of Toyotas to be somewhat skeptical of the news based on the number of test models used in the investigation. The fact still remains that Toyota sells over 8 million vehicles in a calendar year. We think it more likely a defect exists than it is that hundreds of drivers inexplicably forgot which was the gas and which was the brake.

The announced results by the NHTSA comes on the heels of Toyota Motor Corporation being cited last year for over $32 million in civil penalties for two vehicle defects: accelerator pedals sticking and faulty floor mat design leading to entrapment of the accelerator pedal.

The government called on NASA engineers to conduct the 10-month study for electronic flaws leading to unintended acceleration in vehicles. The engineers were experts in software reliability, electromagnetic interference, and computer controlled electronic systems. During the study, engineers assessed the electronic circuitry and examined over 280,000 lines of software code for potential problems that could lead to inadvertent acceleration. In addition, mechanical components were tested that could result in unsolicited throttle openings.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.”

Even though no electrical cause was found, as a result of the findings the NHTSA will consider the following improvements:

-Initiate break override systems and event data recorders to be installed in all vehicles.

-By the end of 2011, the operation of keyless ignition systems should be standardized in all passenger vehicles.

-Initiate research on the dependability and safety of electronic control systems.

-Examine whether location and design of brake and accelerator pedals can be improved to reduce pedal malfunctions or confusion.

“While today marks the end of our study with NASA, our work to protect millions of American drivers continues,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “The record number of voluntary recalls initiated by automakers last year is also very good news, and shows that we can work cooperatively with industry to protect consumers.”

Faulty accelerator pedals should be a concern that the government continues to research. Motor vehicle crashes due to an accelerator malfunction can be fatal. As a consumer, its best to check recalls for your vehicle model periodically in order to avoid risk of serious injury.

With years of experience, the Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, & Gonzalez, LLC represent accident victims and their families in West Palm Beach, Margate, Coral Gables, and Port St. Lucie. To hear your claim, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-800-529-2368.

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