Steve Berman Responds to NASA / NHTSA Report on Sudden, Unintended Acceleration in Toyota Vehicles

Today, Steve Berman responded to NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's report on sudden, unintended acceleration. His remarks are below.

“While we respect the findings of the study, we find that many of its findings are in stark contrast to what Toyota drivers across the country experienced - and continue to experience - even after the series of recalls. There are too many reports of runaway events in vehicles with the pedal and floor mat “fix” to eliminate other causes such as electronic throttle control. There are too many reports, from too many people to not have a basis in fact.

We see that the report confirms our allegations that the lack of a brake-override system is a serious defect in the cars’ design. Had Toyota included a brake-override system, as have other manufacturers, it is clear to us that the company could have prevented a series of well-documented accidents and fatalities.

NHTSA has leveled nearly $50 million in fines against Toyota for its abominable corporate behavior in how it attempted to correct problems involving floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals. The report identifies sticky pedals as a defect and confirms our allegations that Toyota sold defective cars without disclosing the sticky pedal issue.

We continue to hold our position that consumers would have been much better served if the company admitted its design defect and installed a brake-override system as soon as it learned of the problems of SUA.

Already there are those who are asking tough questions about the report’s methodology. We are just now reviewing the documents, but anticipate there will be a healthy debate centering on the ways NHTSA arrived at its conclusions, especially amid the number of UA events experienced by so many drivers.

We disagree with Toyota’s handling of these concerns, and look forward to continuing our work in discovery and proving our claims in trial."