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Greg Webb
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Did Toyota Know About Acceleration Problems in 2003?

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“Toyota” has been the buzzword for the past many months, often used in conjunction with phrases such as “unintended acceleration,” “steering relay rod defects,” and “big mistake”. The automaker recently made the news once again, as documents have been uncovered indicated that the company was aware of acceleration problems in 2003, according to a recent article in the Washington Post.

An internal document from a company field technician written in 2003 describes the unintended acceleration issue and requested immediate action due to the dangerous nature of the problem. The technician also stated, “we are also much afraid of the frequency of this problem in the near future.”

Further, Toyota recently recalled 2005-2008 Corollas and Corolla Matrix’s for a defect that could lead to stalling of the cars. This, of course, would be a safety-related problem. See www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallresults.cfm for more information on this Toyota recall.

Toyota apparently had the information available far before action was taken, including adequately warning the public. Toyota has been knocked from its lofty perch by the past year’s safety problems, and now it is attempting to restore its once unassailable image through an advertising campaign focused on "safety". Let’s hope the media campaign is more than just words and "spin".

If you have a question about your Toyota, you may call NHTSA’s VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit: WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.