Toyota to respond to Congress claim

Car manufacturer Toyota is to respond to claims made to the US Congress that acceleration problems were caused by faults in its electronics systems, leading to eight million vehicles being recalled.

Professor David Gilbert, of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, told Congress last month he could recreate the problem by manipulating the electronics in a Toyota car.

But the Japanese car giant will hold an event on Tuesday in which it will attempt to dispel the theory claimed by Prof Gilbert.

It has enlisted the help of the director of Stanford University's Centre for Automotive Research for the event.

Toyota said Stanford professor Chris Gerdes would show that the malfunctions Prof Gilbert produced "are completely unrealistic under real-world conditions and can easily be reproduced on a wide range of vehicles made by other manufacturers".

Stanford's Centre for Automotive Research is funded by a group of car companies, including Toyota.

Toyota has also hired a consulting firm, Exponent, to study whether electronic problems could cause unintended acceleration. It released an interim report that has found no link between the two.

The event is part of a broad campaign by the world's biggest carmaker to discredit critics, repair its damaged reputation and begin restoring trust in its vehicles.

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