DOT Seeks Help From NASA, NAS To Solve Unintended Acceleration Problems | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner 


The Washington Post reports that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has designated nine NASA experts to help solve the “scientific mystery” surrounding unintended acceleration in Toyotas. Moreover, “a separate panel from the National Academy of Sciences” will investigate unintended acceleration and on-board electronics “across the industry.” The Post notes the lack of consensus among automotive experts over whether there could be an electronic fault causing unintended acceleration in Toyotas.

“The increasing complexity of engines, which run on multiple microprocessors and lots of software, has complicated the discussion.” The Post adds that DOT is expected to announce today that its Inspector General “has been asked to review whether federal safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have the personnel to adequately handle the complex engineering questions that arise in such investigations.”

The Los Angeles Times also covers this story, noting that the “two investigations follow pressure from Congress on federal safety regulators to address persistent questions about the causes of unintended acceleration, and whether the problems stem from faulty computer-controlled electronic throttle systems.”

These developments make clear how extensive and complex the problems are, and further cast doubt on the ability of federal agencies to handle investigations on their own.  This is yet more evidence as to why it is important to have access to civil courts, so that full investigations can be conducted, the truth can be revealed, and safety measures can be put in place to protect consumers from further injuries.


About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including serious truck and car collisions.  Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics magazine–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.

Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to give presentations to lawyers and businesses regarding product defects, automobile accident litigation, and safety improvements.

Mr. Zambri has authored an article regarding how automobile collision cases are evaluated.  To read it, please click here.

To read an article published by one of Mr. Zambri’s clients, who was injured in a tragic automobile collision, please click here.

Many Americans are killed or critically injured each year in vehicular collisions.  If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at or call him at 202-822-1899.