NEW YORK — Toyota is “not anywhere near close’’ to drawing firm conclusions from its probe of reports of unintended acceleration and does not plan to disclose its findings until the government finishes its investigation, a company spokesman said yesterday.
Toyota Motor Corp. engineers have investigated more than 2,000 reports of surging cars. Several government agencies, including NASA and the Transportation Department, are conducting probes into complaints of unintended acceleration, as well, but their findings are not due until as late as next year.
“It’s important to allow others . . . to complete their investigations without our findings providing any sort of influence,’’ Michels said.
This week, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported the government had analyzed dozens of data recorders in Toyota vehicles involved in crashes blamed on unintended acceleration and found the throttles were open and the brakes were not engaged. That suggests drivers who stepped on the gas pedal when they intended to step on the brake were to blame.
Michels said Toyota has found a number of causes for unintended acceleration among the complaints it has investigated, including misplaced floor mats or stacked floor mats and sticky pedals. Among complaints in which the driver said the brake pedal was depressed, driver error was to blame in most cases, he said. The automaker has not found evidence that electronics are to blame, he said.
The government on Wednesday said it has not reached any conclusions about whether Toyota drivers may be to blame for their vehicles suddenly accelerating. NHTSA engineers and NASA scientists have been looking into cases of sudden acceleration in Toyotas and studying electronics in cars and trucks. Their reports are expected in the fall.
In addition, the National Academy of Sciences is conducting a review of unintended acceleration in cars and trucks across the entire industry.