Research scientists affiliated with the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) have reportedly found that “Toyota vehicles with potentiometer type accelerator pedal position sensors have a propensity to grow tin whiskers that can and do cause shorts in a highly sensitive engine management area”. These results are consistent with other findings reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA’s Engineering Safety Center’s investigation into reports of Toyota vehicles exhibiting unintended acceleration.

The researchers conducted a physical analysis of an engine control system from a 2005 Camry XLE, V-6 and a defunct 2002 Camry. CALCE’s report is consistent with that of NASA scientists who found tin whiskers growing in the accelerator pedal unit of every potentiometer they examine.