These incidents were highly correlated with three things: being elderly, being short, and parking (or leaving a parking space). The elderly are more prone to the sort of neuronal misfiring described in yesterday's New York Times. Shorter people have to hunt more for the pedals. And starting up from a complete stop is the most likely time to press the wrong pedal.
As Theodore Frank at the Washington Examiner points out, here are the reported ages of all 24 of the fatal Toyota (TM) cases:
60, 61, 63, 66, 68, 71, 72, 72, 77, 79, 83, 85, 89
A couple of weeks ago an elderly woman (at random, one I didn't know) walked up and asked me for help with her cellphone. She was frustrated because it "wasn't working." I had no experience with the phone or any phone like it, but it worked for me the first time when I followed the instructions on the screen.
When I modeled the correct use for her (ie, press the button the screen tells you to) she mashed all the buttons in two rows with the flat of her thumb, repeatedly. I gently pointed this out, described and demonstrated at least one effective method, and she mashed them all again and again.
I am not trying to discriminate against the elderly. I think all drivers, regardless of age, should retake the driving test every 5 yrs or so. Myself included.
I'd still buy an Audi or a Toyota. If I were in any shape to do so I'd buy someone's firesale Toyota today.