Toyota responds to new report

Louisville, KY - By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More bad news for Toyota as the company tries to improve its safety image. A new report out this week now estimates 89 deaths could have been caused to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. That's dozens more than initially reported.

It's not exactly the news Toyota Vice President for Communications Jim Wiseman wanted to have to deal with the day he answered questions from reporters.

"Obviously we're sympathetic, deeply sympathetic, to any accident or fatality in one of our vehicles," Wiseman said.

The government says it's also had more than 6,000 complaints involving sudden acceleration in Toyotas including one from Todd Allen. In February we told about a crash in Louisville involving Allen's recalled Camry. He told us his car accelerated and flipped into an icy creek. He's now suing Toyota.

"The numbers you have to understand, these are reports, nothing has been confirmed or investigated, even the government admits that," Wiseman said. "Having said that, we're trying to move forward on a lot of fronts."

Wiseman also says Toyota is equipping all new cars and trucks with the same brake override system already standard in the Prius. Lawmakers in Washington are looking at legislation that would give the government more power to order recalls. The industry would also face some new safety standards.

The entire interview is available by clicking on the video player in the top right-hand corner of this page.

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