Out-Of-Control Lexus Still On Road, Apparently No Longer Out-Of-Control

If you’ve been following the hearings this week about the Toyota recall debacle, you’re probably well aware of Rhonda Smith, who spoke before the House Committee on Energy & Commerce to share her harrowing story of trying to stop her suddenly accelerating Lexus ES350 back in 2006. Well, NHTSA now says that that car is still on the road — and that the new owners haven’t experienced any problems.

According to a NHTSA rep, the new owners Ms. Smith’s former vehicle have put an additional 27,000 miles on the car without issue.

“They have had no problems with the Lexus since they bought it with less than 3,000 miles on the car,” said NHTSA, who tracked down the car following Ms. Smith’s testimony.

The Lexus in question is one of several reports casting doubt on Toyota and NHTSA’s claims that all issues of sudden acceleration in their vehicles can be blamed on pedals being trapped by floor mats, or by the so-called “sticky pedal” defect. Many believe that the cause of Ms. Smith’s specific incident was electrical, as none of her attempts to bring the car to a halt — shifting into neutral, stepping on the brakes — were ineffective. Others claim that Ms. Smith merely panicked and is misrepresenting the incident.

Lexus Cited in Harrowing Account Is Still on the Road [Wall Street Journal]