We have written about Toyota and its sudden acceleration problems in prior issues. An ongoing Los Angeles Times investigation has revealed that more than 1,000 Toyota and Lexus owners have reported since 2001 that their vehicles suddenly accelerated on their own. In many of these cases, the vehicles slammed into trees, parked cars and brick walls, among other obstacles. The crashes resulted in at least 19 deaths and scores of injuries over the last decade. Federal regulators say that is far more than any other automaker has experienced. NHTSA has done a poor job of carrying out its responsibilities in regard to this problem.
Owner complaints helped trigger at least eight investigations into sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the last seven years. As reported, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled fewer than 85,000 vehicles in response to two of those probes. NHTSA closed six other cases without finding a defect. But according to the Times those investigations systematically excluded or dismissed the majority of complaints by owners that their Toyota and Lexus vehicles had suddenly accelerated, which sharply narrowed the scope of the probes. Meanwhile, fatal crashes involving Toyota vehicles continued to increase. In a written statement, the NHTSA told the Times its records show that a total of 15 people died in crashes related to possible sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles from the 2002 model year and newer, compared with 11 such deaths in vehicles made by all other automakers.
The Times located federal and other records of 19 fatalities involving Toyota and Lexus vehicles from the same model years in which sudden or unintended acceleration may have been a factor, as well as more than 1,000 reports by owners that their vehicles had suddenly accelerated. Independent safety expert Sean Kane, president of Safety Research and Strategies, says he has identified nearly 2,000 sudden-acceleration cases for Toyota vehicles built since 2001. Other experts say the numbers may be far higher, based on a 2007 NHTSA survey of 600 Lexus owners that found 10% complained they had experienced sudden acceleration.
Just as this issue was going to the printer, we learned that Toyota had recalled all of the accelerator pedals in the cars. I am not sure how extensive this recall is.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.