NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2005 Lexus ES 330

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2005 Lexus ES 330, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP05002

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 05, 2005
    • Date Closed: January 05, 2006
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control

    Summary: In a letter dated July 8, 2005, and after experiencing two incidents (and one crash) where he alleges his model year (MY) 2002 Camry accelerated without driver input, Mr. Jordan ziprin petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) to commence a proceeding to determine the existence of a defect within the etc system in MY 2002 to 2005 Toyota and Lexus vehicles, or to reopen a prior investigation preliminary evaluation (PE) 04-021.in a letter dated August 18, 2005, Mr. Ziprin amended his petition to include allegations of interrelated brake and acceleration problems that allegedly result in inappropriate and uncontrollable vehicle accelerations.the 1172 vehicle owner questionnaire reports cited by the petitioner involve 4 Lexus and 15 Toyota models defining a population of 7 million vehicles.the reports typically alleged a defect in the brake system, the throttle control system, or a combination of both systems.in its review of the reports, ODI a) failed to find evidence to support the existence of a brake related defect in the cited models, and B) determined that many cited products were not equipped with etc.accordingly, ODI restricted its analysis to the 432 petitioner reports involving MY 2002 to 2005 Camry, Solara, and ES models (all equipped with etc) that alleged an abnormal throttle control event (see the January 3, 2006 federal register notice for further details).about 40% of the 432 reports involve a driveability concern where the operator intentionally applies the throttle pedal, in expectation that the vehicle will accelerate, and then experiences a delay or hesitation in vehicle response.these reports involve vehicle response to intentional driver commands which ODI considers unrelated to the allegations raised by the petitioner.therefore, the reports do not provide support for the investigation requested.about 20% of the reports involve incidents where operators allege vehicle acceleration without driver input and an inability of the brake system to control the vehicle when applied.neither the reports, nor the interviews conducted by ODI, identified any vehicle-based cause to explain the incidents or disclosed evidence to support that a failure of the brake or throttle control system had occurred.because these reports do not indicate a distinct safety defect for investigation, the reports do not provide support for the investigation requested by the petitionerthe remaining reports (~ 40%, similar to the petitioner's and those of PE04-021) typically describe incidents where a vehicle is being maneuvered at slow speed in a close quarter situation at which point the operator alleges that the vehicle accelerates without driver input and crashes.in the aftermath, operators are unsure of whether the brakes were applied or not, sometimes stating there was insufficient time to use the brake; a crash occurred and the operator believes an uncommanded acceleration caused it.in spite of the effort expended during PE04-021 and during this analysis, ODI has not identified any vehicle-based cause to explain the reports, or uncovered any evidence to indicate that a throttle control system failure occurred.therefore, the reports have ambiguous significance and do not constitute a basis on which any further investigative action is warranted.based on the analysis conducted, it is unlikely that the NHTSA would issue an order for the notification and remedy of a safety related defect at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition.consequently, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP05002 »

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