Toyota faults may link to 89 deaths

The US government has said sudden acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles could be linked to 89 deaths over the past decade.

A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cites a higher figure than the 52 fatalities previously believed to have been related to acceleration issues in the manufacturer's cars.

It said between 2000 and mid-May this year more than 6,200 complaints, including reports of crashes involving 89 deaths and 57 injuries, were made to the NHTSA over unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

The car giant said it was "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".

It said several complaints in the database did not have enough details to help identify the cause of the accident, but added: "We will continue to work in close partnership with law enforcement agencies and federal regulators with jurisdiction over accident scenes whenever requested."

Since last autumn, the car giant has recalled more than eight million vehicles worldwide over a host of safety issues with accelerator pedals, floor mats and brakes.

It has paid a record £11.4 million fine for its slow response to an accelerator pedal recall and is facing hundreds of state and government lawsuits.

Copyright © Press Association 2010