Honda Accord hybrid brake, acceleration claim under U.S. review
The Honda Accord hybrid accident resulted in the death of a passenger and the driver becoming disabled, NHTSA said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a claim into whether some Honda hybrid vehicles are prone to unintended acceleration.
The federal auto safety regulator said today it had agreed to look into a complaint stemming from a fatal July 2005 crash.
The driver of a 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid said she was driving over rumble strips on the side of a freeway when she tried to apply the brakes. Instead of slowing, the driver claimed, the car sped up uncontrollably and crossed into oncoming traffic. The resulting accident left the passenger dead and the driver disabled and injured the occupants of two other vehicles, NHTSA said on its Web site.
The agency will investigate the claim before launching a formal probe.
Using NHTSA's crash database, the driver listed 22 complaints from other owners or drivers about incidents involving Honda Accord and Civic hybrids that she felt were similar to her accident.
In her petition, she said the other incidents also featured inadequate braking performance while driving over uneven road surfaces.
Honda says it is too early to comment on any specific allegations, but that all of its hybrid vehicles have the same brake system found in every gas-powered Honda.
Congress has lambasted NHTSA for failing to do more following complaints about unintended acceleration involving Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles.
In the past year, Toyota has recalled 15.4 million vehicles worldwide, more than 10 million of them related to complaints about alleged unintended acceleration.
In 2005, Honda sold 16,826 Accord Hybrid and 25,864 Civic Hybrid vehicles in the United States.