Blame Game

Toyota Chided for Safety Claims

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration blasted Toyota for its "inaccurate and misleading" statements that there were no defects in the 3.8 million vehicles it has recalled since the Aug. 28 accident that killed four people when a Lexus sedan accelerated out of control. Toyota officials contend that the incident—and other instances of uncontrolled acceleration across the country—resulted from gas pedals that became trapped in improperly installed floor mats. In a rare public upbraiding of the company, the NHTSA called the matter a "very dangerous problem" that would not be closed "until Toyota has effectively addressed the defect by providing a suitable vehicle-based solution." Toyota is still developing "vehicle-based" remedies including changing pedal placement or engine-control software in onboard computers.