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Camrys Not Included in Toyota Recalls Under Scrutiny

Mar 2, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering expanding its investigation of Toyota unintended acceleration problems to include pre-2007 Camrys.  According to a New York Times report, Camrys made before 2007 have not been included in Toyota's recent recalls.

According to the Times, two previous investigations of these vehicles had cleared them of defects, but an NHTSA spokesperson told the Times that the models would now be part of an inquiry into the role that electronic throttle control systems may have played in Toyota’s speed-control problems.

According to a New York Times analysis of more than 12,000 U.S. speed control complaint records going back to 2000, most of those involving Toyotas involved vehicles not included in recalls.  For example, the Times found that the 2002 Camry, which hasn’t been recalled, had about 175 speed-control complaints. On the other hand, the 2007 Camry, named in 200 speed control complaints, has been recalled.

Toyota has blamed the sudden acceleration problems that prompted the recalls on faulty floor mats and defective gas pedals. According to The Times, Toyota said Camry’s sold in the U.S. before 2007 were outfitted with different mats and pedals, so they were not included in the recalls.

The Times also found that speed control complaints logged against Toyota involved more crashes. Ford, with 3,500, had the most consumer complaints, with 450 involving crashes. While Toyota came in second with 3,000 complaints, it far outpaced Ford when it came to crashes. According to the Times, 1,000 of the Toyota complaints involved accidents.

The Times analysis found that Toyota vehicles were named in one speed-control crash complaint per 20,454 vehicles sold in the United States. By comparison, Ford had one complaint per 64,679 vehicles. Honda had one per 70,112 and G.M. one per 179,821, the Times said.

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