State Farm Warned Regulators About Toyota Unintended Acceleration As Early As 2007

David C. Holzman
by David C. Holzman
state farm warned regulators about toyota unintended acceleration as early as 2007

State Farm, the US’ largest automotive insurance company, began warning federal regulators in 2007 about unintended acceleration in Toyotas, the

Washington Pos t reports. Yet the National Highway Traffic Safety did not begin to act for more than a year after State Farm’s initial alerts. This

revelation follows by more than a decade the insurer’s warnings about Ford Explorer rollovers, which the Post reports led to a congressional

investigation, and legislation that “created an “early warning” system for auto safety.” But NHTSA apparently hasn’t been paying attention to the information it has collected. Randy Whitfield, a Maryland consultant, using data from NHTSA, two years ago determined that the 2007 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350 had excess injuries due to unexpected acceleration. State Farm insures more than 40 million customers.

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  • Blowfish Blowfish on Feb 09, 2010

    We never knew the truth, perhaps the NHTSA officials had been rewarded with whatever to keep the mouth shut, in the end paper cannot contain a real fire, the sh*t hit the fan. Toyota has to pay the piper who plays the tune in a real hefty way. Why they had to recall 5 yrs old cars ? That means they have had knowledge of it for a long time. Not sure in other culture, the sooner u admit to fault the sooner people will forget. ANy form of cover up wil back fire in a big way. Can go back time when Tricky Dick Nixon, if he had dealt with it sooner & more forthwith, he would still be the Presidente till his term expired. Now what will be the true costs to Toyota, only God knows though. At least now will cut some slack to the D3 , allow them some more breathing room.

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    • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Feb 09, 2010

      Why 5 year cars being recalled? Quite simple and nearly OTTMCO. Because: - OEM's rarely introduce a new technology as a step-change; preferring to introduce it over time (this is also due to: a) there being a cadence in new vehicle development and launches, and b) the cost of the new technology becoming cheaper overtime and thus being introduced into the wider-part of an OEM's portfolio); - a 5 year old car may very well represent the "spear's tip" (or a 2nd-step broader application) of a newly introduced technology; - some flaws take time to present, waiting until either: a) a flaw- or cyclicly-sensitive flaw identifies itself, or b) enough units containing the flaw reach the market that a pattern begins to emerge, and c) a combo of a&b. Then, after 5 years, when an incontrovertible body of evidence accumulates, one recalls and remediates the entire population of vehicles.

  • Disaster Disaster on Feb 09, 2010

    I just saw LaHood being interviewed tonight on the evening news. They asked him if the NHTSA is in any way partly responsible for not pursuing this earlier and therefore causing deaths. He completely avoided the question and instead responded that Toyota was doing something BECAUSE the NHTSA held their feet to the fire.

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    • Disaster Disaster on Feb 10, 2010

      LaHood did the same "feet to the fire" dance in front of George Stephanopoulos this morning, when asked why the NHTSA didn't do something 6 years ago, when the first reports came in. I lost some respect for George when he let him off the hook and moved on to another question. Why are all these reporters letting him get away with this? Why isn't the NHTSA admitting it made a mistake, and saying they will investigate and correct it?

  • CarPerson CarPerson on Feb 09, 2010

    If NHSTA's house gets a good examination, I have to believe someone will find a walk-in closet full of skeletons. Why is it that auto manufacturer's have a long and glorious history of being able to tap dance their way out of all but the most serious defects? Why is it that instead of truly fixing the underlying problem, we have to settle for the automaker expending the least amount of effort they can to mitigate the problem just barely enough to squeak by?

  • Accs Accs on Feb 14, 2010

    Id like to know... Why should I trust State FARM? They stand behind a group like IIHS and expects us all to drive "better cars".. so they can judge us on what THEY think is safer and bill us accordingly. I call this a matter of talking out of both sides of their mouths.

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    • Accs Accs on Feb 15, 2010

      Id like to know a coupla things. 1. IF State Farm did find these issues going back 3 yrs why didnt NHTSA take care of this THEN?! 2. I don't think the info that State Farm did find is any "unique information", at least not unique enough that the other insurers couldn't find it also. 3. THEN Lahood seems to be shoving his foot deep into his mouth lately.. which I don't get for a govt run safety organization (here come the govt jokes). 4. On top of.. I don't trust State Farm or any other insurer as far as I can throw them, These yahoos are "supposed" to be protecting our worst nature.. (albiet grouped together inside the IIHS). 5. In the end, State Farm AND Lahood's agency is dropping the ball. How do ya expect safety OF ANY KIND through an agency that overlooks safety on a company that RECENTLY is getting its ass handed to it, ntm could BE hiding much deeper safety issues. It just brings a massive amount of distrust through the insurer and the govt.