LaHood launches 'major investigations' into sudden auto acceleration

LaHood commissioned the National Academy of Sciences to investigate the causes of the problem across the entire auto industry, and asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to partner with NASA engineers to tackle the causes of unintended acceleration in Toyotas.

The move comes after the Japanese automaker was forced to recall millions of vehicles in the first quarter of this year for the problem, the causes of which haven't yet been identified.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration,” LaHood said in a statement. “For the safety of the American driving public, we must do everything possible to understand what is happening. And that is why we are tapping the best minds around.”

The investigations are the latest step by the government to help identify and address the causes of sudden acceleration, particularly in Toyotas, which have led to accidents and some deaths this year.

News of the investigations seemed to be taken favorably by the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which circulated news of LaHood's investigation to reporters.