Normally it’s Toyota that’s in the headlines whenever ‘unintended acceleration’ is concerned, however, this time ‘round it’s close rival Honda that’s in the spotlight.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that it is investigating certain Honda Accord Hybrid models to determine whether they are prone to so-called unintended acceleration.

The latest investigation is in response to a complaint that involved a female driver back in July 2005. The driver claims that her car didn’t react to her applying the brakes but instead accelerated uncontrollably into oncoming traffic after driving over rumble strips on the side of a freeway.

The front passenger was killed when the car collided with another vehicle, while the female driver was disabled. The occupants of two other vehicles were also injured.

Since the accident, the driver has managed to find 22 similar cases in the NHTSA's databases involving Honda Accord and Civic hybrids, prompting the agency to start an investigation and possibly launch a formal probe.

It’s interesting to note that Honda originally promoted the Accord Hybrid as a performance sedan, confusing customers with promotional efforts that implied they could ‘save gas but still haul ass’. Honda eventually gave up on its Accord Hybrid after just a couple of model years and no new version was launched even when a redesigned Accord was introduced back in 2008.

[NHTSA via Automotive News (subscription required)]