It’s sweet vindication for Toyota after the U.S. Department of Transportation said that electric systems and electromagnetic interference played no role in unintended acceleration cases. Reports of runaway cars and the subsequent persecution led the Japanese giant to recall 11 million vehicles worldwide, including nearly 8 million in the US since 2009.

“The jury is back. The verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas. Period,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Our conclusion is Toyota’s problems were mechanical, not electrical,” he added, which means that the only proven causes are sticky pedals and floor mats and that all other allegations and testimonies have no basis. Toyota has insisted all along that electronics isn’t the cause of sudden acceleration cases.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a study on the matter 10 months ago as requested by Congress, which sought evidence to back its believe that electronics or software was the problem. “Just about every member of Congress that questioned me said ‘It’s got to be electronics’,” LaHood was quoted as saying.

With the help of NASA engineers, the study sought to determine if cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota/Lexus vehicles were caused by something other than sticky pedals and trapped floor mats. The folks at NASA examined nine vehicles with alleged braking problems and subjected them to electromagnetic interference testing. They also looked at 280,000 lines of software codes to detect any flaws that could disrupt the electronic throttle control.

“Everything is data-based. It’s not made up. It’s not based on emotion. It’s not based on some story somebody told us,” LaHood said. Interestingly, his own daughter recently bought a 2011 Toyota Sienna. “She wanted an ironclad guarantee from me that her vehicle was going to be safe. I told me daughter that she should buy the Toyota, which she did,” the Transportation Secretary revealed.