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Toyota test driver killed in head-on crash

AFP · 24 Jun 2010, 08:06

Published: 24 Jun 2010 08:06 GMT+02:00

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The Japanese man, identified as Hiromu Naruse, was testing the Lexus LFA sports car when it was involved in a deadly collision on a road near the Nürburgring race track in Rhineland-Palatinate on Wednesday, Toyota said.

"We are shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Hiromu Naruse," company spokesman Mieko Iwasaki said.

He was unable to give further details on the crash. Carmakers around the world routinely use German roads to test their cars, in part because of the lack of speed limits on many motorways.

Daily Die Welt reported that the test driver of the other car involved in the collision was injured, along with a passenger.

Toyota said Naruse had worked for the company since 1963. He was 67 years old, according to German media.

The manufacturer offered its "condolences to the family of Mr Naruse and sympathy for others involved in the accident."

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It said it would await clarification as to the cause of the accident from German authorities.

The $375,000 (€300,000) LFA is a two-seat supercar scheduled to go into production at the end of 2010, Toyota says, with plans to build only 500 vehicles.

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Your comments about this article

14:02 June 24, 2010 by Dizz
Daily Die Welt reported that the test driver of the other car involved in the collision was injured, along with a passenger.

Hidden in there. The other car was a BMW also in testing. It had a driver and engineer aboard.
14:18 June 24, 2010 by Aschaffenburgboy
Wow! I think they were playing chicken, and the German won. Great marketing for BMW, they should put this on the front page of the BILD with some nipples around it.
22:40 June 24, 2010 by vonSchwerin
I'm just curious: do test cars not come with seatbelts and airbags? Don't test drivers wear helmets?
06:13 June 25, 2010 by pinkengineer
von Schwerin: if you watch the video you will see that both vehicles had airbags deployed---fully functioning as per protocol. Unfortunately airbags don't always save lives--especially when speed exceeds the limits and point of impact impedes survival.
18:59 June 25, 2010 by Gretl
Japanese are like Brits, they drive on the other side of the road. It is very hard to switch, and i can see him having a momentary lapse of, "oops, I am on the wrong side" and swerving into the oncoming lane.
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