WASHINGTON — The government said yesterday it had not uncovered any electronic problems in runaway Toyotas as a scientific panel started work on a study to determine what prompts some vehicles to suddenly accelerate. A National Academy of Sciences panel held its first meeting to review the potential causes of unintended acceleration in vehicles across the auto industry. The 12-member panel is expected to report its findings in the fall of 2011.
More computerized than lubricated, new cars and trucks are vastly more complicated than their predecessors. Congress has criticized the government’s auto safety agency for lacking the expertise to understand the role that electronics play in vehicles, an issue at the heart of the mystery of Toyota’s recalls.
David Strickland, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told the panel that his agency’s
Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles because of problems with sticking gas pedals and accelerators that can become entrapped in floor mats.