Toyota Sudden Acceleration Background

[Toyota admitted] that it lied to regulators and the public as it tried to cover up deadly accelerator defects, which caused vehicles to speed out of control and fail to respond to the brake. The Daily Mail (UK) — October 15, 2014

Car manufacturer Toyota has agreed to pay a staggering $1.2 billion to avoid prosecution for covering up severe safety problems with “unintended acceleration,” according to court documents, and continuing to make cars with parts the FBI said Toyota “knew were deadly.” ABC News — March 19, 2014

The (U.S.) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that from 2000 to mid-May, it had received more than 6,200 complaints involving sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The reports include 89 deaths and 57 injuries over the same period. CBS News — May 25, 2010

In 2009, (California State) Highway Patrolman Mark Saylor and three members of his family had been killed after the accelerator in his Lexus had become stuck on an incompatible floor mat. Saylor was able to call 911 while his car was speeding over 100 miles per hour and explain his harrowing ordeal right up until the crash that ended his life. ABC News — March 19, 2014

[A] Minnesota man was serving an eight-year prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter when evidence emerged suggesting he could have been a victim of Toyota’s acceleration problem. After serving two years in prison, Koua Fong Lee was released and charges against him were dropped in 2010. ABC News — March 19, 2014

Toyota has blamed driver error, faulty floor mats and stuck accelerator pedals for the unintended acceleration. CBC News — Dec 26, 2012

[E]xtensive software analysis reports had been filed previously in other courts looking into unintended acceleration. But none of that material became public, because Toyota paid settlements and obtained gag orders before those cases went to trial. The public and the engineering community had to wait until the Oklahoma trial, where all testimony became public. EE Times – Oct 31, 2013

The scandal led company Chief Executive Akio Toyoda to apologize in testimony before Congress and vow that the company would overhaul the way it handled quality control. Wall Street Journal — Dec 27, 2012