Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration: The New Numbers Are In!

Safety Research & Strategies has completed our latest review of Toyota unintended acceleration complaint data.  Our database consists of incidents from the following sources:

  • Consumer complaints to NHTSA through June 7, 2010
  • Toyota-submitted claims from several NHTSA investigations into unintended acceleration
  • Incidents reported by media organizations
  • Consumer contacts made to our organization and other firms that are reporting incidents that they have received

Every effort has been made to identify duplicate records and combine them.  However, often the reports do not provide enough detail to link incidents to other reports.  There are likely some duplicates among our records – if there are, they are few.

SRS’s database consists only of incidents reported from 1999 to the present (regardless of model year).  We have defined unintended acceleration as any incident in which the complainant reported an engine acceleration that was unintended – regardless of whether the car was in gear.  We understand that this is a broader inclusion than others have considered; however, because we are still at a stage of trying to understand the incidents we believe this inclusiveness will help us discern vehicle years / models and incident types that we may want to investigate further.

Note that the incidents we are reporting only represent those that are in the public realm.  According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in response to the Committee’s January 28, 2010, request for Toyota internal documents, Toyota produced a representative sample from a larger set of claims.  The Committee noted that 37,900 customer contact reports were identified by the company as “potentially related to sudden unintended acceleration.”