What, exactly, does the the widely publicized NASA report say about whether Toyota’s unintended acceleration problems are caused by faulty electronics? According to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, the NASA report concludes that there is "no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration."

But the consumer group Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. does not believe the NASA engineers go that far.  It quotes the report:

Due to system complexity which will be described and the many possible electronic software and hardware systems interactions it is not realistic to prove that the ETCSi cannot cause UAs. Today’s vehicles are sufficiently complex that no reasonable amount of analysis or testing can prove electronics and software have no errors. Therefore, absence of proof that the ETCSi caused a UA does not vindicate the system.”

In effect, NASA leaves itself some wiggle room by saying: We cannot prove that the electronic system caused the errors; but the lack of proof does not mean the system is error-free.

Looks as though consumers will need turn to plaintiffs’ attorneys to identify the cause of the defective acceleration system.