A panel looking into sudden acceleration hazards with cars and trucks made by Toyota Motor Corp. and other auto companies was told Monday by an academic expert that the risk of dying in a crash while driving a recalled Toyota is minimal, The Detroit News reports.
Paul Fischbeck, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, told the National Academy of Sciences panelists that the fatality rate from driving one of the Toyotas that were fixed after being recalled for sticky accelerator pedals would translate to 1.05 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. If Toyota didn’t fix any of those 2.3 million recalled vehicles, Fischbeck said, the fatality rate would inch up to 1.07 per 100 million miles.
Putting it another way, Fischbeck said the risk of dying while walking along a road is 19 times higher than it would be covering the distance while driving one of the recalled Toyotas.
The panel’s investigation, launched at the request of the U.S. Transportation Department, followed more than 3,000 sudden acceleration complaints involving Toyotas and Lexuses, including claims of 93 deaths. The hearing is continuing Tuesday with testimony from safety advocates, including representatives from Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety.
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