Transportation secretary defends Toyota probe - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Transportation secretary defends Toyota probe

WASHINGTON (AP) - Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says his agency will ensure the safety of Toyota vehicles.

He's telling Congress the government's investigation of Toyota includes the possibility that electronic problems had a role in sudden acceleration. The company has blamed the problem on misplaced floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals.

LaHood's statements are in testimony prepared for the House Energy and Commerce Committee's investigative panel. The committee on Tuesday is conducting the first congressional hearing into the unintended acceleration issues.

Committee investigators have made preliminary findings that the government was slow to respond to 2,600 complaints of sudden unintended acceleration from 2000 to 2010.

LaHood denies that. He argues the government had consistently pushed Toyota to correct its problems.

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