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Walking More Dangerous Than Driving Unrepaired Toyota, Expert Testifies

Washington panel told risk of sudden acceleration fatalities extremely low.

by on Oct.12, 2010

You're safer driving a recalled Toyota than walking, according to testimony to the NAS, anyway.

Mile per mile, you’re far more likely to die simply going for a walk than driving a recalled Toyota model that hasn’t been repaired, a key witness testified during hearings in Washington.

And the likelihood is even lower if the vehicle has been repaired, said Prof. Paul Fischbeck, of Carnegie Mellon University, during a hearing by the National Academy of Sciences.

The NAS is one of the groups that has been charged by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with investigating the sudden acceleration crisis that began when Toyota announced the first of two recalls one year ago this month.

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Since then, the maker says, it has made repairs to 3.7 million of the 6 million vehicles covered by those two recalls – one to deal with the possibility loose carpets and mats could jam the throttle pedal, the other because of sticky accelerators – about 62%.  That’s roughly in line with what most manufacturers experience when they issue a safety recall, though the maker has expressed its goal of repairing every possible vehicle involved in the sudden acceleration problem.