Toyota addresses throttle safety

According to Toyota president Akio Toyoda, news reports in the US are spreading concern about the electronic throttle-control system in Toyota vehicles.

Some are claiming that the accelerator pedal’s electronic signals can malfunction, resulting in sudden unintended acceleration.

Toyoda has discounted these allegations, saying that Toyota’s electronic throttle-control system incorporates overlapping failsafe features.

The occurrence of any problem causes the system to return the engine to idling mode or to shut it off.

Toyota engineers have conducted rigorous testing under extremes of electromagnetic interference, vibration and other adverse conditions to conclusively verify that the system cannot accidentally induce acceleration.

The company has also commissioned an independent third-party research organisation to test the electronic throttle-control system and will release the findings of these tests as they become available.

Toyoda said that to further reassure Toyota drivers, the company plans to add a brake-override system to all future vehicle models worldwide.

The system will cut engine power when the accelerator and brake pedals are applied at the same time.

In yet another quality related move, the company is to appoint a chief quality officer for each of its principal geographical regions, to serve on the company’s newly established Special Committee for Global Quality.