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Congressman Begins Attack on Toyota

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., fired the first shot in the battle which will peak with Tuesday's Congressional hearing on the Toyota recall.

According to Waxman, the evidence which came to light after some Toyota internal documents were made public points to an electronic fault as the cause for the unintended acceleration which led to the recall, despite Toyota's continuous denial of such a possibility.

"Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report, and made misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration," Waxman told Toyota Motor Sales's COO, Jim Lentz, in a letter cited by Autonews.

Toyota responded the letter by saying all the questions will be answered at the hearing. In addition, Toyota spokesman John Hanson made a statement in front of the media yesterday.

"Some have suggested that unintended acceleration may be caused by something more than mechanical problems. No actual evidence has been produced," he said according to the source.

But Waxman didn't stop at Toyota. He also took a shot at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, criticizing them for the manner in which they handled the situation.

"NHTSA has lacked the expertise needed to address this serious defect and has conducted only cursory and ineffective investigations,"
Waxman says in the same letter.

"NHTSA is once again undertaking a comprehensive review of sudden acceleration, including the possible influence of electromagnetic interference, software anomalies or other electronic issues," NHTSA spokeswoman Olivia Alair said, adding the body has already conducted 141 investigations tied to throttle control issues since 1980.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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