National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The petition was the latest in a string of claims that Toyota vehicles can accelerate on their own dating to 2009.
The NHTSA is holding the rare hearing to listen to evidence that Fiat Chrysler misbehaved on 23 recalls involving more than 11 million vehicles.
It’s the first time the agency has admitted fault in failing to link the switches it to a series of fatal accidents, although regulators still lay most of the blame on GM for hiding the defect.
NHTSA says it has received nine complaints that the Jeep system suddenly reduced speed “with no pending threats in the line of travel.”
“One congressman even likened it to driving down the road with a shotgun pointed at your face.”
Frustrated that cars recalled for serious safety defects aren’t getting fixed quickly enough, the nation’s auto safety chief will host a gathering of automakers to search for solutions.
Statistics show that automakers issued 803 recalls totaling almost 64 million vehicles in the U.S. last year — more than double the old record.
The recommendations help to encourage the auto industry to adopt additional safety features, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were 58 deaths involving Jeep Libertys from the 2002 through 2007 models years where the vehicle caught fire in a rear-impact crash.
“Quite frankly, it’s a black eye for our industry.”