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A Note on Automobile Cruise Control Faults and Sudden or Unintended Acceleration

by Dr Antony Anderson C.Eng FIEE


Land Rover

          By David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin, CNN Special Investigations Unit  Documents
  • Feb 18 2011 NHTSA issues redacted NASA report entitled "National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Toyota Unintended Acceleration Investigation'.  Redacted report and appendices available at:
    • Note by AFA: This NASA technical report isof the highest importance for the future safety of millions of motorists worldwide. In my opinion redaction undermines the work carried out by NASA. Only with free and open discussion of the full contents of the report will the state of the art regarding the causes of sudden acceleration be advanced. Click to download pdf entitled: Redaction in the 2011 NASA Report "NHTSA Toyota Unintended Acceleration Investigation"
  • August 28th 2009: Model Year 2009 Lexus ES350: 4 DEAD According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a loaner 2009 Lexus ES 350 driven by CHP Officer Mark Saylor, and three family members experienced a serious malfunction, which caused the accelerator to stick. Someone reportedly dialed 911 around 6:30 p.m. to report the cars accelerator was stuck, and the car could not be stopped while traveling nearly 100 miles per hour. The out-of-control car careened through the intersection of Route 125 and Mission Gorge Road and collided with a Ford Explorer. The Lexus then jumped a curb, plowed through a fence, and then slammed into an embankment before going airborne. The luxury car reportedly overturned several times before it came to a stop and burst into flames in the San Diego River basin. The CHP officer Mark Saylor, 45; his wife, Cleofe, 45; Saylor’s daughter, Mahala, 13; and his brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella were all tragically killed at the scene of the horrific crash.   See also  NBC Video
    •  Sept 18 2010Toyota settles suit over Saylor car crash The fatal crash near San Diego last year drew national attention to sudden acceleration in its vehicles and led to huge recalls. The settlement leaves out co-defendant Bob Baker Lexus dealership. Ken Bensinger LA Times. On 21st September 2010 the LA Times issued the following correction:  Toyota settlement: An article in the Sept. 18 Section A about a Toyota legal settlement omitted the last four words of a statement by the automaker. It should have read "Toyota and the Saylor and Lastrella families reached an amicable agreement in mediation that fully resolves their product liability claims against Toyota and a Lexus dealership." As the article noted elsewhere, the settlement did not resolve negligence claims by the families against the dealership, Bob Baker Lexus, which remains a defendant.
  • August 15, 2007  LEXUS SAFETY PROBE WIDENS: 40 report unintended acceleration : WASHINGTON STAFF  Federal regulators have stepped up an investigation into 98,454 Lexus ES 350 sedans after amassing 40 reports of unintended acceleration, including eight crashes and 12 injuries, along with cases in which drivers said their cars stopped only after an accident. Toyota Motor Co. told safety officials that the problem appeared to be caused by loose floor mats and contends that it dealt with the flaw through a mailing to customers earlier this year. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to continue its investigation last week to verify whether Toyota's efforts were sufficient.
  • May 4th 2004 : Drivers Blame Sudden Acceleration For Crashes   HOUSTON -- Last December, a car crashed into a strip center soccer store in Kingwood. As it plowed inside, 45-year-old Debbie MacAfee was killed. Another woman survived, but is still recovering from her injuries. Carol Parish was the driver that day. She still cries about the crash, five months later. "It's a horrible hole that is shot through your spirit," Parish said. She said that she was backing out of a parking space, and then started to pull away. That's when she said her car took on a mind of its own. ....Houston area Congressman Nick Lampson asks for Government to re-open Sudden Acceleration investigation.    See also
  • April 13th 2004 : Technology puts unintended acceleration back in spotlight. By Jayne O'Donnell and David Kiley / USA TODAY. Carol Mathews, 60, has been driving since she was 12 years old on a South Dakota farm. So when her 2002 Lexus ES 300 ran into a tree as she pulled into a restaurant parking space last fall, she was pretty sure she wasn't the problem. She says it was the third time the car lurched forward without her help.
  • HOUSTON, Texas Dec 5th 2003 -- One woman was killed and another was seriously injured Friday when a car slammed through a Kingwood-area store,. Police said the driver of a Lexus lost control of her vehicle around noon and it rammed through the front of Soccer 4 All, 4423 Kingwood Drive. News2Houston report:
  • Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 183 / Monday, September 22, 2003 / Notices  55076-79: Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition, DP03–003 : National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. See under NHTSA Notice describing the reasons for denying a petition by Mr. Peter  Boddaert requesting that the agency conduct a Petition Analysis ‘‘covering Lexus cars, model years 1997 to 2000, model series 300 & 400.’’

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Last updated May 15th 2012

Antony Anderson