Investigators have concluded that several incidents of sudden acceleration reported by Toyota drivers were caused by the drivers themselves, according to unnamed sources interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The forensic analysts working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation made the determination after examining dozens of vehicles.
The "sticking" gas pedal and problematic floor mats, both subject to a recall, are still believed to be the cause of many cases and accidents.
However, information collected from several car data recorders show that some involved vehicles without brakes engaged, and with the throttle fully open, at the time of an accident. This has led analysts to believe drivers may have slammed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal to avoid a collision.
The Wall Street Journal article did not address if faulty wiring or circuitry may have played a part in brakes failing to engage.
The Toyota situation has been compared by some to a 1989 study by the U.S. government into sudden acceleration-related accidents involving the Audi 5000. That report led to a conclusion that driver error was to blame for the crashes.
Thus far, over 100 lawsuits have been filed against Toyota in the U.S. with relation to uncontrolled acceleration. Over eight million vehicles were recalled by the automaker worldwide.