Concerned that regulators are dismissing electronic problems in Toyota vehicles, an auto safety firm said Tuesday that it had sued the federal government to get records of its investigation into the unintended acceleration of a Prius last year.
The freedom-of-information lawsuit by the firm, Safety Research and Strategies, said that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was withholding documents and videos that may depict an acceleration incident caused by electronic systems in a Prius instead of the floor mats or pedals covered by Toyota recalls.
The suit seeks transcripts, recordings, photographs and videotapes generated by a visit of two federal investigators to the home of a senior government official who had complained about sudden, unexplained acceleration of his own Prius.
According to a sworn statement by the official, Joseph H. McClelland, investigators visited his Chambersburg, Pa., home last May 17, documented the sudden acceleration problem and recorded evidence of it.
I tried to move my car up about 5 feet. Instead it accelerated in spite of my applying the brakes as hard as I could. It blew right through the garage doors and was only stopped by running into heavy equipment. Did $7000 worth of damage to my garage and contents and $7000 damage to my car. Fortunately, I wasn't hurt...that's why I can't sue. No one can tell me it was due to mat or brake problems. IT WAS DUE TO AN ELECTRONICS FAILURE...and can happen again. Damn them for not reporting the real cause.