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Deaths blamed on Toyota sudden acceleration top 100

More than 100 deaths have now been blamed on sudden acceleration of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles, nearly twice the number that had been reported two months ago, according to a Times review of public records.

With a recent surge of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration factored in, sudden acceleration has been raised as a possible cause of 102 deaths involving crashes of Toyota vehicles, according to NHTSA records, lawsuits and police reports.

Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles to repair defects it said could in rare instances cause gas pedals to stick. The company insists the electronic throttle control system in its newer vehicles is not to blame.

"It is normal to see an increase in complaints following the kind of publicity that this issue has taken on," Toyota spokesman John Hanson said Thursday. "We are diligently going to investigate all of these claims. We are doing it with more people and we are doing it as quickly as we can.

"We have found no evidence at all of any electronic problem that could have led to unintended acceleration."

The new numbers prompted a call for a thorough investigation of each fatality reported to the federal government in connection with the Toyota problems. 

Read the full story here.

--Stuart Pfeifer
 
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