Don’t blame Toyota for electronic acceleration problems, study says

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WASHINGTON — After dissecting Toyota’s engine control software and bathing its microchips in every type of radiation engineers could think of, federal investigators found no evidence that the company’s cars are susceptible to sudden acceleration from electronic failures, the government said Tuesday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that the sudden acceleration was caused by mechanical problems in some Toyota models — sticking accelerator pedals and floor mat interference — that it had previously identified as causes.

The findings, reached after a 10-month investigation, neither implicated Toyota nor exonerated it any further than had been the case after the earlier investigation.

Toyota eventually recalled more than 11 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles globally because of floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals. It also paid three fines totaling $48.8 million, because, the Transportation Department said, Toyota had not reacted appropriately to reports of problems.

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