Sudden Acceleration

Incidents of Sudden Acceleration

In a mid-2001 analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in records for the book Sudden Acceleration: The Myth of Driver Error, co-written by Clarence Ditlow, director of the consumer group Center for Auto Safety, the number of complaints to the agency about sudden acceleration was compiled.

The incidents of sudden acceleration for the years 1987 though 2000 made to the NHTSA were:




  • 2,284
  • 2,930
  • 2,442
  • 2,382
  • 1,939
  • 1,526
  • 1,315
  • 1,321
  • 1,016
  • 912
  • 783
  • 756
  • 1,647
  • 1,382

Nearly every car manufacturer has faced claims of sudden acceleration at one point or another. While the majority of sudden acceleration cases alleges faults in cruise control systems, newer technology, like the electronic throttles, have also been blamed for incidents of sudden acceleration.

In March 2004, the NHTSA launched another sudden acceleration probe because of the electronic throttle and the leading suspect in the latest sudden acceleration claims. Government investigators looked at 2002 to 2003 Toyota Camrys and Solaras and Lexus ES 300s to determine if the car models were defective, with more than a million of the vehicles in service. The preliminary investigation of the latest sudden acceleration claims began by gathering information about complaints by owners of the Toyota and Lexus cars.

A Missouri jury decided the largest known judgment on sudden acceleration in 2003. General Motors was ordered to pay an injured woman her husband $80 million after they blamed the crash of a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass on sudden acceleration because of cruise control. A spokeswoman at the time said GM was appealing the jury award.

If you have any questions about your legal rights regarding an injury caused by an auto defect, please contact us.


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