WASHINGTON — The government plans to release the findings of its investigation into runaway Toyotas today after a 10-month review.
The Transportation Department said it would issue the results of its study, which has examined whether electronics or electromagnetic interference played a factor in reports of Toyota vehicles accelerating unintentionally.
Toyota has recalled more than 11 million vehicles globally since the fall of 2009 to address sticking accelerator pedals and gas pedals that became trapped in floor mats, and other safety issues. The recalls have been a major challenge for the world's No. 1 automaker, which has scrambled to protect its reputation for safety and reliability.
The study, which has been conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA engineers, has not yet uncovered any electronic problems in the vehicles. Last August, Transportation officials said a preliminary review into event data recorders, or vehicle black boxes, failed to reveal any electronic flaws but said the study would continue.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declined to comment Monday in advance of the report's release.
Toyota said in a statement that it "looks forward to reviewing the NASA and NHTSA report" regarding its electronic throttle control systems.
Toyota paid the government a record $48.8 million in fines for its handling of two recalls. The company has said it has not found any flaws in its electronic throttle control systems and said the previously announced recalls have addressed the safety concerns.
In addition to the recalls, Toyota began installing brake override systems on new vehicles. The systems automatically cut the throttle when the brake and gas pedals are applied at the same time.
The company also created engineering teams to examine vehicles that are the subject of consumer complaints and appointed a chief quality officer for North America amid complaints its U.S. division did not play a large enough role in making safety decisions.
Consumer advocates and safety groups raised concerns that flawed electronics could be causing unwanted acceleration in the Toyotas. They have questioned the reliability of the event data recorders studied by the government, saying they could be faulty or fail to tell the whole story of the individual crashes.
NHTSA has received about 3,000 reports of sudden acceleration incidents involving Toyota vehicles during the past decade, including allegations of 93 deaths. NHTSA, however, has confirmed five of them.
The National Academy of Sciences is conducting a separate study of unintended acceleration in cars and trucks across the auto industry. The panel is expected to release its findings in fall 2011.