Edmunds.com Comments on Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel Report

Edmunds.com Comments on Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel Report

Edmunds.com Comments on Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel Report

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 23, 2011 — The Toyota North American Quality Advisory Panel led by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater presented a report this morning that summarizes results of the panel's review at the mid-point of its two-year term of service.

"The report makes a pretty good case that Toyota let quality lapse. Also, it confirms our view that Toyota's culture — one that works well in times of stability — left it uniquely vulnerable to a fast-moving crisis, such as the safety issues that enveloped the company last year," stated Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "But anyone hoping that this report would help settle the debate around causes of unintended acceleration will be disappointed."

While the document provides worthwhile recommendations for Toyota going forward, it did not shed new light on the causes of unintended acceleration that occurred in Toyota models.

"As we have noted before, in the absence of a definitive resolution consumers are left to speculate," said Anwyl, who wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post last year that "it is impossible to rule out any possibilities: electrical, mechanical, design or driver-related."

Edmunds.com will announce at its Safety Conference in Washington, DC, tomorrow that there is no winner of Edmunds.com's Unintended Acceleration Contest launched early in 2010 after the safety of Toyota vehicles came into question.

"Evidence has been piling up that unintended acceleration is not caused by a vehicle defect, and our contest result seems to be the final piece. Even with a million dollars motivating the best and brightest thinkers to study the issue, no one could demonstrate any novel and plausible cause for unintended acceleration," stated Anwyl. "This leaves the blame at the foot of the driver, literally. And this will be a big take-away of Edmunds' Safety Conference tomorrow: culturally, we have an aversion to blaming the driver, but to improve the safety on our roads we need to recognize the role of the driver and engage the driver more fully."

For more on Edmunds' Safety Conference, please see http://www.autoobserver.com/2011-car-safety-conference/library.html

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About Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)

Edmunds publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.edmunds.com, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.insideline.com, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.

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