June 2009

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Sudden Unintended Acceleration 

A personal perspective by Doug Newman

Updated April 7, 2009

Email: dougnewman676@gmail.com 

Sudden Unintended Acceleration involving Jeep Cherokees/Grand Cherokees was reported by Diane Sawyer in a March 1997 ABC News Primetime segment -- and the "phenomenon" still exists today!
What I am providing here is an overview of my history regarding Jeep Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) which I have been casually researching for over six years and subsequently amassed a plethora of relevant research documents and news reports - all of which are publicly available.  I also have 10 video clips of Jeep Sudden Unintended Acceleration incidents.  My intent is to simply share my information through this web page.  I am not writing on behalf of any organization, association or group and that I do not represent any entity other than myself.

Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) incidents, also referred to as Sudden Acceleration Incidents (SAI), have been reported with many different types of vehicle makes and models and have occurred in numerous environments - parking garages, bank drive-up tellers, airports, home garages, traffic lights, mechanic shops, etc.  SUA can be caused by driver error.  
I have owned and operated a multiple location, conveyorized car wash business for almost 20 years and have served as board member on various trade associations.  Over my career and having washed an estimated 1 million vehicles, I have had four SUA incidents at my car wash locations and all four, 100% of these incidents involved Jeep Grand Cherokees that suddenly accelerated upon start-up.  I know of another car wash operator who has washed several times the number of cars as my locations, lets say 5 million, who reports nine cases of SUA, and eight of the nine involved a Jeep brand product , seven were Jeep Grand Cherokees.   Combined, the two of us have had 13 SUA incidents and 11 of the 13 incidents, out of the 6 million + cars we have collectively washed, involved the Jeep Grand Cherokee - a statistical impossibility which leads me to believe that the highly disproportionate number of SUA incidents involving Jeep Cherokees/Grand Cherokees than to other makes/models calls for further investigation.  
I believe that the public needs to be fully informed of the SUA history involving Jeep Grand Cherokees, a very popular vehicle.  It is fact that SUA incidents that have occurred at conveyor car washes involve Jeep Grand Cherokees at a rate of occurance that is extraordinarily high and disproportionate when compared in totality to all vehicle brands and models serviced at conveyor car washes.  The most popular vehicle brands sold in the U.S and subsequently the most popular vehicles serviced by car washes, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and the Ford Taurus, are washed in far greater numbers than Jeep Grand Cherokees, yet the number of SUA incidents involving these brands/models, even when totaled, pale in comparison to the rate of occurance involving Jeep Grand Cherokees.  
Please review the three sections below.  The first section provides links to resources and studies.  The second section is a listing of articles citing Jeep SUA incidents and the third, articles citing Toyota Tacoma SUA incidents.
Please feel free to contact me at: doug.ctcc@gmail.com
Doug Newman
Milford, Connecticut 

I. Links & Resources

CTAtty.General's Call for Jeep Cherokee NHTSA Investigation [June 2006]

1999 and Later NHTSA Complaints

Romualdi, Davidson & Associates Jeep SAI Newsletter [2002]

Center for Auto Safety [2000] 

Sudden Acceleration the Myth of Driver Error [Book 2003] 

SUDDEN UNITENDED ACCELERATION, Two Decades of Denial (Video Clips) [Safety Forum.Com August 2000] 

Formal Defect Petition to NHTSA by David Bizzak & Walter Sayler [2002] 

Texas A&M Pedal Misapplication Study 

Drivers Blame Sudden Acceleration For Crashes [May 2004] 

Dr. Antony Anderson's website

Ricci ~ Leopold: Sudden Unitended Acceleration 

Chrysler to Retrofit Older Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee Vehicles with'Brake-Park' Shift Interlock [April 1997]

II. Jeep SUA Incidents

VIDEO WTNH News Channel 8, Jeep sudden acceleration [April 2006]

SUV Crashes into Building, Two injured as Jeep hits Wall [Danbury, CT June 2006] 

Car wash crash sends woman to hospital [Feb. 2008] 

VIDEO CLIP (note 29 sec. mark) Jeep driven by customer I [Dec. 2006]

VIDEO CLIP (note 8 sec. mark) Jeep driven by customer II

VIDEO CLIP (note 35 sec. mark) Jeep driven by customer III [March 2006]

VIDEO CLIP (note 27 sec. mark) 2005 Jeep G.C. [June 2006]

ICA Updates Industry On Jeep Cherokee Dangers [Modern Car Care April 2006]

Another carwash, another Jeep incident [PC&D June 2006] 

Daimler lashes out at ICA over Jeep issue [PC&D Aug 2006] 

Jeep SUA incident reported at Illinois carwash [PC&D May 2008]

Runaway Jeep kills carwash worker - Queens, NY [June 2008]

Chain-reaction crashes injur four, spark fire [Encinitas, CA July 2008]

10 On Your Side Investigates: Jeep Safety by: Melanie Woodrow [Nov 2007] 

Jumpin' Jeep Ruin Lives, Destroy Proerty - Years of accidents, reports, complaints yield no action [Oct 2007] 

Jumpin' Jeeps Injuries Two at Minnepolis Car Wash [Dec 2007]

Dozens of Jeep onwner SUA complaints - ConsumerAffairs.com [July 2008]   

III. Toyota Tacoma SUA Incidents

 Toyota under spotlight for possible Tacoma sudden acceleration [June 2008]

400 New Reports of Toyota Tacoma Sudden Acceleration Since February

Toyota Pickup Claim Pushed [Center for Auto Safety April 2008]