NHTSA reviews claim of Honda acceleration

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 22, 2010 20:00 hrs

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether to open a full-fledged investigation into possible acceleration problems with the Honda Accord gas-electric hybrid, according to documents posted on the federal agency's website Monday.

A woman, who was not identified, filed a complaint seeking an investigation and recall of the 2005 Accord Hybrid after a crash in July 2005 that left her injured and a passenger dead. Several people in other cars were injured, the documents said.

About 25,000 vehicles would be affected by an investigation, NHTSA said.

The woman told the agency that her car crashed into oncoming traffic after she drove over rumble strips on the side of a highway. The vehicle first lost braking power, and then the car accelerated on its own, the woman said.

NHTSA said it will decide whether or not to investigate the Accord Hybrid for possible recall due to problems with antilock brake controls.

NHTSA's documents said the woman found 22 similar complaints in NHTSA's database involving Accord and Civic hybrids, although it was unclear if the Civic Hybrid would be included in NHTSA's inquiry. The similar incidents involved inadequate brake performance while driving over uneven surfaces, the documents said.

The woman reported that she was disabled in the crash, but the documents did not state where it occurred.

Honda Motor Co.'s main rival, Toyota Motor Corp., has been plagued with a series of unintended acceleration complaints that have resulted in the recall of more than more than more than 10 million vehicles worldwide over the last year. Most of the recalls were due to floor mats that snagged gas pedals or accelerators that stuck. Hundreds of lawsuits were filed against Toyota after it began issuing the recalls.

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