NHTSA: 89 Deaths Caused by Unintended Acceleration in Toyota Vehicles

Posted: May 26, 2010 10:58 a.m.

Now that the dust has begun to settle on Toyota’s recall fiasco, it’s being made clear that the toll on human life was greater than initially reported.

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now estimating that 89 deaths may be attributable to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles here in the United States between the year 2000 and May of 2009,” reports Autoblog. “Previously, it was reported that 52 deaths were possibly related to the throttle defect.”

Multiple sources are also reporting that the number injuries resulting from cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles during that same period currently stand at 57.

According to The Washington Post: “Toyota said in a statement that it ‘sympathizes with the individuals and families involved in any accident involving our vehicles. We are making an all-out effort to ensure our vehicles are safe and we remain committed to investigating reported incidents of unintended acceleration in our vehicles quickly.’"

Toyota Motor Corp. fell under fire late last year as incidents of unintended acceleration began to make headlines. Since then, the automaker has grudgingly submitted to two large-scale recalls affecting more than eight million vehicles worldwide -- casting its previously strong history of reliability into question. Toyota has recently agreed to pay a record-setting $16.4 million in fines for its delayed response to U.S. drivers’ concerns. Additional lawsuits are still pending.

“In the aftermath of the recalls, Congress is considering upgrading auto safety laws to stiffen potential penalties against automakers, give the government more powers to demand a recall and push car companies to meet new safety standards,” writes the Associated Press.

Check out the latest Toyota recall news and information, including how the company's recent troubles affect our rankings. If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.