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NHTSA to Release Results of Toyota Probe

Findings could wind down – or exacerbate maker’s safety woes.

by on Feb.07, 2011

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will reveal the results of a year-long investigation into Toyota's alleged sudden acceleration problems.

The problems may have their roots in Japan, but a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, could play a pivotal role in determining the future of the world’s largest automaker.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to release the results of a long and intense probe into the so-called “sudden acceleration” problem that has reportedly plagued Toyota products.

The maker acknowledged it had a pair of problems, first recalling millions of cars, in October 2009, due to loose carpets that could trap the accelerator pedal, then announcing a second recall three months later because of potentially sticky throttles.  Toyota went so far as to shut down production at most of its U.S. plants, also halting sales of vehicles on dealer lots until it could make necessary repairs.

But critics have continued to insist that the recalls didn’t address alleged defects with the electronic control systems used to manage the maker’s vehicles.  Any number of possible problems, from software glitches to electromagnetic interference, have been accused of causing some Toyota products to suddenly surge out of control.