I'm sure many TTAC readers will recall the great Audi 5000 "unintended acceleration" legal turmoil of the mid-80's. The legal/media feeding frenzy set Audi sales back by a decade, despite the fact that every case of "unintended acceleration" was found to be caused by human, not mechanical error. Well, those bastions of quality journalism, the Detroit Free Press and Motor Trend blog, are trying to resuscitate the media frenzy, only this time Toyota's to blame for people mistaking the accelerator for their brake pedal. Apparently the NHTSA has received 33 complaints that Toyota Tacomas are driving themselves off the roads, and has launched an investigation into the 2006-2007 model years. "Toyota has said to us they've found nothing wrong with the truck and it's our fault," says one "victim." "They're basically calling us all stupid." Of course, after a crash nobody wants to take responsibility for the fact that they may have hit the gas instead of the brakes, but what is motivating this investigation has nothing to do with the facts of the individual cases. No, the investigation is being spurred by the fact that only four "unintended acceleration" complaints have been logged against non-Tacoma pickups in the period that 33 were logged against the 'yota. "If there were truly human error, there would be a proportional distribution across models," says Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington. "It's very difficult to explain how some makes and models have higher numbers of complaints than others absent some flaw in the vehicle." Yes, but it's very easy to prove that your brakes are more powerful than your engine. In fact, if a TTAC reader out there has a Tacoma, perhaps they would do us the honor of standing on the brakes while mashing the accelerator for a few seconds. This should prove fairly simply that "unintended acceleration" is possible only when you are not actually on the brakes.
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