The U.S. Department of Transportation's report that sudden-acceleration issues had nothing to do with electronic throttle-control systems in Toyota's vehicles has met with rebuff from attorneys involved in lawsuits against the company.
(L to R) NASA Principal Engineer Michael Kirsch, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Ron Medford, and NHTSA Administrator David Strickland attend a press conference in Washington D.C., the United States, Feb. 8, 2011. NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles capable of producing the large throttle openings required to create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents, showed a ten-month study released on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Xinhua/Lin Yu)
The report's findings are flawed, claimed Steven W. Berman, one of the attorneys leading the class-action federal lawsuits pending before U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana near Los Angeles.
"It doesn't look to us like NASA looked really hard at the evidence," Berman said hours after the department issued the report on Tuesday.
"As far as we could tell there are thousands of complaints out there from very credible people. Some of our plaintiffs in the case are police officers who didn't have a sticky pedal or floor mat problem. Obviously they can drive cars, so how do they account for that?"
The federal report was based on analysis by NASA engineers of more than 280,000 lines of software code that could lead to runaway vehicles and concluded there were no malfunctions in the electronic systems that caused the sudden acceleration issues.
In the report, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said "there is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas."
LaHood said the verdict came after "we enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota's electronics systems."