Much like Tiger Woods, it now appears Toyota's image doesn't quite match reality. Peter Whoriskey and Kimberly Kindy of the Washington Post report on three deadly crashes involving Toyota's, including one that occurred in Flint:
But in each of those three fatal episodes, the car involved was a 2005 Toyota Camry, a model that the company has indicated is free of the acceleration defects: It has not been recalled for either the sticky pedal or the floor mat interference.
"This raises a huge red flag," said Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety.
He and other safety advocates have their own suspicions, aroused by a history of glitchy behavior in the electronics that control Toyota's engines.
"Many unintended accelerations do not appear to be explained by floor mats and sticky pedals," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who is holding the Tuesday hearing on the recalls. "One of the key questions we will ask at the hearing is whether electronic defects could be responsible."
Toyota officials declined to comment on the cases because they are in litigation.