Sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles may have been a factor in the deaths of 89 people since 2000, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  The agency, which stated in March that 52 casualties had been linked to the problem, is investigating if sticking gas pedals led to 71 car crashes resulting in the deaths.

A recall tied to the problem was issued by Toyota in late 2009.  The delay in notifing the U.S. government and American consumers of the problem led to a $16.4 million fine against the automaker.

Thus far, the NHTSA has been notified of 6,200 cases of sudden acceleration since 2000.  2,600 of the reports were filed since March 2010, including 100 from consumers who reported the problem after Toyota had already repaired their vehicle.

The agency does not yet believe a new recall for the same problem is warranted.  Toyota will install a brake override of the throttle-by-wire on new models starting in 2011.  This will also be retro-fit to seven models subject to the recall.

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