To get an idea of just how ridiculously bad the Toyota-funded study of its “sticky accelerator” problem is, you need only compare the 6 vehicles the contractor in question purchased to study, with the years and makes of vehicles Toyota has recalled.
Here are the 6 cars the contractor has studied:
- 2002 Camry (North American VIN)
- 2007 Camry (Japanese VIN)
- 2007 FJ Cruiser (Japanese VIN)
- 2008 Sienna (North American VIN)
- 2006 Lexus IS 250 (Japanese VIN)
- 2006 Lexus IS 350 (Japanese VIN)
And here are the vehicles recalled on January 21, 2010 for the “sticky accelerator” problem:
- 2009-2010 RAV4 (except Japanese VINs)
- 2009-2010 Corolla (except Japanese VINs)
- 2009-2010 Matrix
- 2005-2010 Avalon
- 2007-2010 Camry (except Japanese VINs)
- 2010 Highlander (except Japanese VINs)
- 2007-2010 Tundra
- 2008-2010 Sequoia
Further, Toyota makes it clear that no Lexuses have been recalled, nor any of the following models: Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and Highlander hybrids, and Camry hybrids.
And just to be over-cautious, here are the vehicles recalled for the “floor mat problem” on September 29, 2009:
- 2007 – 2010 Camry
- 2005 – 2010 Avalon
- 2004 – 2009 Prius
- 2005 – 2010 Tacoma
- 2007 – 2010 Tundra
In other words, not a single car the contractor has been studying for the past two months is suspected of having this problem!! It has limited its testing primarily to cars with Japanese VINS. One exception–the Sienna–was not included in either of the recalls. And the other–the 2002 Camry–is an older model than the recalled Camrys.
There is a lot more glaringly, embarrassingly wrong with this study (starting with the fact that the contractor in question only pulled 6 Toyota cars in the first place) as well as the fact that the contractor is a known whitewash specialist. (h/t PJEvans) I’ll get to those once I’ve reviewed the study more closely.
But for now, know that Toyota paid a contractor to try to replicate this problem in a group of cars–just 6 cars–that Toyota doesn’t apparently suspect of having the problem.