Throttle controls safe, says Toyota
Toyota Motor Corp said it has found no flaw with its throttle controls as it seeks to dismiss an external study critical of its electronic safety systems.
The conclusions, announced at a news conference on Monday, marked an attempt by the automaker to reassure consumers it has safety issues under control. Toyota is working to win back sales seven weeks into a recall crisis that has tarnished its reputation.
But in developments that underscored the continuing pressure on Toyota, a Michigan judge ordered the automaker's top two US executives to appear for a deposition and a congressional panel told it to surrender a 2006 memo from employees in Japan warning of risks to quality controls.
Toyota called its news conference to discredit what it said were mistaken conclusions being drawn from a study of its accelerator controls by David Gilbert, an auto engineering expert at Southern Illinois University.
Toyota has recalled more than eight million vehicles worldwide for mechanical problems with its accelerator assembly that can cause sticking and for the risk that floormats could trap an accelerator.
Unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles has been linked to at least five US crash deaths since 2007. Authorities are investigating 47 other crash deaths over the past decade.
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