No Investigation For Alleged Lexus Unintended Acceleration Problems

Government denies petition to investigate alleged unintended acceleration events in Lexus cars.

No Investigation For Alleged Lexus Unintended Acceleration Problems

Posted in Investigations

— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced it won't take action into alleged unintended acceleration events in the 2010 Lexus HS 250h. In October 2015, NHTSA said it would look into the matter after receiving a petition from a Lexus owner.

The petitioner said his wife was driving their 2010 Lexus HS 250h when the car accelerated while the woman was trying to park. The Virginia driver said she was slowly pulling into a parking space when the Lexus suddenly accelerated and crashed into a brick building. The car was considered a total loss from the crash.

The petition described details from the event data recorder which records certain information for five seconds before a crash. The petition says the recorder shows the accelerator pedal was wide open at 100 percent at the same time the brake pedal was being pushed as the Lexus hit a brick building.

NHTSA says its analyzed data from the recorder and determined that at some point during the last 0.512 seconds, the accelerator pedal was fully applied. The brake light switch was activated immediately following the impact with the building, indicating the brake had been applied after hitting the building enough to activate the brake lights.

The government says the brake and accelerator pedals were never pushed at the same time during the event and the brakes were fully capable of stopping the Lexus even at full throttle.

NHTSA says it's unlikely a safety defect exists or that a full investigation would find a defect, especially based on past investigations of Toyota vehicles. Therefore, the Lexus HS 250h petition is denied.

Toyota owners continue to petition the government to open investigations into alleged unintended acceleration events, but NHTSA typically declines the petitions based on years of previous studies about the subject.

Prior to the most recent petition, NHTSA declined a petition to investigate the 2009 Lexus ES 350. As in the case of the Lexus HS 250h crash, the ES 350 petitioner said his wife crashed the car while trying to pull into a parking space. In addition, the petition cited other almost identical crashes that occurred in a Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry.

NHTSA denied the ES 350 petition after concluding all the evidence pointed to a driver applying the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal when parking the vehicle.

Additionally, NHTSA said the event data recorders in the three Toyota and Lexus vehicles mentioned in the petition indicated no braking was recorded in two of the crash events until the data recorder trigger point, and in the third crash no braking was recorded at all. has complaints about numerous Lexus models.