Toyota’s nascent attempt to overcome image problems regarding the safety of its vehicles could be in for another setback, with the automaker telling U.S. regulators it is considering ways to prevent the unexpected stalling in the world’s most popular nameplate.
In a letter to the National Highway Safety Administration, the embattled automaker insisted the problem does not pose “an unreasonable risk,” but is nonetheless looking at ways to prevent stalling, which it has traced to engine control modules provided by two of its suppliers.
Critics of course have said that Toyota – and all automakers – do not properly test software, and that the safeguards used by other industries are not in place. Worse, NHTSA has only one software engineer on staff, and its regulations were developed before the onset of the widespread use of electronics in vehicles, including drive by wire systems that are now ubiquitous.
NHTSA reports it has so far received 76 complaints involving 2005 through 2007 versions of the Corolla and Matrix models involving stalls that have occurred unexpectedly, sometimes at high speeds.
The problem is, ironically, believed to be related to a fix for a previous problem with those two vehicles.