Update: NHTSA Investigation into Toyota hampered by ex-employee?

We reported on news last week alleging that ex-NHTSA employee Chris Santucci interfered with an investigation into Toyota’s unintended acceleration issues.  Since then, ABC News did its best digging and found some interesting information, which they reported on Friday.

The ABC News report explains that ex-NHTSA employees, including the previously-mentioned Chris Santucci, used their clout at the NHTSA to severely limit the number of reported incidents to lessen the impact on Toyota, to the point where it was highly ignored.

A memo was sent internally at the NHTSA which told to exclude any reports where the unintended acceleration lasted more than a second or two.

Out of 37 total reports, 26 were excluded, 25 of those resulting in crashes or injuries.  More damning than the memo is that the NHTSA ruled out reports where the brakes were applied.

Given what we now know about the issues Toyota’s vehicles are experiencing, ignoring reports where the brakes were used is asinine, as most drivers who panic or have an emergency is taught to use the brakes.

by John Suit

Source: ABC News

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