NASA to help on Toyota probe image

NASA and the National Academy of Sciences are joining the government’s effort to figure out what caused the sudden acceleration problems that led to Toyota’s massive recalls.
The government also recruited the National Research Council, part of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences, to investigate unintended acceleration and electronics in vehicles from all automakers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in an interview. The studies will cost a total of $3 million, he said.
Nine NASA scientists would bring expertise in electronics, eletromagnetic interference, software integrity and complex problem solving to the Toyota review, Transportation Department officials said.
Results from the National Research Council will take about 18 months, while findings from NASA, the U.S. space agency, will be out “probably sooner,” LaHood said.

‘We Want Answers’
“We want answers today,” he said. “We’re as impatient as the Congress, and we’re as impatient as car customers are and car drivers are that own Toyotas and also own other cars that have had issues. We’d all like to have answers today if we could.”

John Hanson, a spokesman for Toyota’s U.S. unit, said the company welcomes the new inquiries.

“We heartily support investigations by any and all credible third parties,” Hanson said. “We look forward to the results.”