Report: Rogue car acceleration is not just a Toyota problem
Toyota had the most driver complaints about rogue car acceleration over a five-year period. But other car makers, led by Ford, also had numerous complaints filed against them, reports Edmunds.com.
The challenge of the rogue gas pedal is apparently not unique to Toyota. In the five years ending last September, all of the six largest carmakers operating in the US marketplace had at least 50 complaints about unintended acceleration filed against them, according to Edmunds.com, a provider of auto industry information based in Santa Monica, Calif.
Toyota had the most complaints: 532 during the five-year period, or 4.81 per 100,000 vehicles sold by the company or its Lexis or Scion brands.
But some other carmakers also drew numerous complaints, according to the analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
• Ford drew 339 complaints about unruly gas pedals (3.12 per 100,000 vehicles sold).
• Chrysler had 156 complaints (1.72 per 100,000 vehicles).
• Honda had 89 complaints (1.26 per 100,000 vehicles).
• Nissan had 50 complaints (1.07 per 100,000 vehicles).
• General Motors had 134 complaints (0.81 per 100,000 vehicles).
“What's called for is an unprecedented, cross-industry and government safety agency collaboration to pool data and resources that gets to the bottom of unintended acceleration once and for all," Edmunds chief executive Jeremy Anwyl said of the data.
The report doesn't absolve Toyota of its crisis-management burden. (As Mr. Anwyl was releasing the Edmunds report, Toyota on Friday continued its campaign to try to retain customer loyalty. The firm will offer expanded services to customers nationwide affected by its recent recalls, such as provision of rental-car or taxi services.)
NHTSA says 34 people have died because of sudden-acceleration crashes in Toyotas since 2000. The Edmunds report did not include information about whether fatalities have been attributed to gas-pedal problems with other carmakers.
A recent Detroit News article also drew attention to wider industry problems with uncontrolled acceleration. The story said NHTSA has opened more than 100 investigations into such issues, involving 20 carmakers, since the 1970s.
Toyota has identified two issues to be fixed through recalls – one with loose floor mats and one with pedals that can become sticky over time. But the Toyota investigation, coupled with data suggesting wider industry problems, has prompted concerns that additional problems still need to be identified and fixed. (For Monitor coverage of three unanswered questions about the recall, click here.)
For its analysis, Edmunds sifted complaint data involving model years between 2005 and 2010. It also tracked the number of acceleration complaints filed since last fall, when Toyota first issued a safety advisory regarding potential floor mat interference. (Since last September, an additional 601 complaints have been filed regarding Toyota gas-pedal issues.)
The Edmunds analysis released Friday was an amplification of research unveiled earlier this week.