Toyota has been cleared by the Federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of electronics-related causes for the spate of unintended acceleration claims to its cars, causing vehicles to speed up without driver input.
The 10-month investigation into the case found “no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement, and instead placed the blame on mechanical problems in some Toyota models – sticking accelerator pedals and floor mat interference – that it had previously been identified as causes. Toyota has already recalled some eight million vehicles in the U.S. to fix those problems.
“We feel that Toyota vehicles are safe to drive,” LaHood added.
With the findings, Toyota's shares jumped 5.2 percent in Tokyo on Wednesday and rose by more than 4 percent on Wall Street overnight. Despite the company's clean bill of health, however, LaHood also said that the NHTSA was considering new regulations to improve safety on new cars. These could include brake-override systems, key-less ignitions as standard and the implementation of data recorders.