US investigation clears Toyota over electronic throttles

A 10-month inquiry by the US Department of Transportation has found there was no link between electronic throttles and unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. That result vindicated the car-maker's long-held position and lifted its shares more than 4 per cent in New York trade.

Earlier in the day, the Japanese car giant raised its annual forecasts as cost cuts and sales exceeded its plans, but a heavy reliance on exports is expected to keep it a laggard as long as the yen stays strong. The world's top car-maker posted a smaller-than-expected fall in third-quarter profits and hiked its sales forecast for the year to 31 March by 70,000 vehicles to 7.48 million, thanks to better-than-expected sales in Asia, Japan and Russia.

It kept its forecasts unchanged in North America, where its sales have lagged since last year in the wake of a series of recalls.

Toyota, which stayed ahead of General Motors as the world's biggest car maker by a thinner margin last year, lifted its operating profit forecast for the year to ¥550bn (£4.2bn) from ¥380bn.