Motor Vehicles 335 articles

New Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuit blames electronic throttle for horrific crash

A lawyer representing the family of a woman who died when her 2009 Toyota Camry sped out of control and sank into a California River hopes the case will be tried as a bellwether case ahead of about a hundred other sudden unintended acceleration lawsuits against Toyota pending litigation in California state courts. The plaintiff’s lawyer believes his client’s case, filed April 18 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, closely parallels the high-profile case of Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer who was killed with his family in August 2009 after the Lexus he was driving suddenly sped out ... Read More

NHTSA investigates Mercedes E-class cars for possible fuel leak problems

More than 50 complaints from Mercedes-Benz owners about a strong odor of gasoline, mainly after refueling, has led to a federal investigation into possible fuel leaks in about 250,000 Mercedes E-Class cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is concerned that fuel may be leaking from the upper part of the gas tanks. No fires or injuries have been reported, however. The investigation includes vehicles from 2003 to 2008 model years. It is possible, the federal safety regulators say, that the leaks were caused by a 2008 pollution-control recall on the vehicle’s fuel filter module. The investigation was launched ... Read More

Lax trailer guard standards contribute to fatal crashes in rear-end collisions

First responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department on the scene of a vehicle crash couldn’t believe the good fortune of a driver who rear-ended a tractor trailer. The man’s Corvette sports car collided with the back of a moving van and was smashed underneath the tractor trailer up to its windshield. Miraculously, the driver escaped with only relatively minor injuries. Highway safety officials say lax standards for rear trailer guards that are supposed to prevent vehicles from sliding under trailers can lead to catastrophic injuries and death in these types of accidents. According to data compiled by the Insurance ... Read More

Honda recalling Pilot and Acura vehicles for unexpected braking

American Honda announced it will recall close to 190,000 vehicles due to problems with the brakes. The manufacturer reports the brake may engage without input by the driver while the car is in motion. The recall includes the 2005 model year Honda Pilot, Acura MDX and Acura RL vehicles and the 2006 model year Acura MDX vehicle. Honda reports the problem appears to originate with the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system. According to an official news release, “If an electrical capacitor on the VSA control unit was damaged during manufacture, the VSA system could malfunction and apply a small amount ... Read More

Texas teen’s Hyundai Elantra speeds out of control and crashes on Texas highway

A Texas teenager was seriously injured after his 2011 Hyundai Elantra allegedly sped out of control on Dallas area highway December 2 and crashed. Elez Lushaj, 16, reportedly told investigators he tried to stop the car as it sped out of control, but all his efforts to slow the vehicle failed. The Elantra raced along highway 183 in Rockwall County at speeds more than 100 mph for nearly 120 miles. A police car in pursuit of the speeding vehicle shows Mr. Lushaj switching lanes to dodge traffic, often veering onto the median when the lanes were impassable. The driver lost ... Read More

Toyota agrees to settle sudden acceleration claims with 30 states

Alabama and 29 other states have reached an agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation to settle allegations that the auto maker hid what it knew about safety problems related to sudden unintended acceleration, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday. Toyota agreed to pay $29 million to resolve the claims that it violated consumer protection rules. The Japanese auto maker also agreed to provide additional restitution and incentives to vehicle owners designed to make vehicle information more easily accessible to consumers. These measures will help drivers operate their vehicles safely by helping them to make more informed choices. Alabama will receive ... Read More

At least 8 dead, 36 injured in California tour bus crash

A tour bus carrying passengers down a mountain road after a day of skiing at California’s Big Bear Mountain crashed Sunday evening, killing at least eight people and injuring more than three dozen others, some of them critically. The crash occurred about 80 miles east of Los Angeles on California State Route 38, a two-lane highway that leads to Bear Mountain and a number of winter recreational areas. The crash occurred when the bus sped down the mountain and crashed into the back of a Saturn Sedan. The collision caused the bus to flip over and hit a Ford pickup ... Read More

12-year-old girl killed in one of three Ohio traffic pileups

A 12-year-old girl was killed and at least 20 others were injured Jan. 21 in a massive pileup of cars and trucks on an Ohio highway. Authorities believe the initial crash on Interstate 275 near Cincinnati occurred around 11:30 a.m. and quickly turned into a pileup involving 87 passenger vehicles and 16 tractor trailers. Harsh winter conditions across Ohio and throughout the Midwest at the time made interstate driving exceptionally dangerous, with whiteout conditions and roadways blanketed with snow and ice. Officials say Sammy Reagan, a sixth grader at Columbia Intermediate School, had exited the vehicle she was in after ... Read More

Toyota moves to settle sudden-acceleration lawsuit chosen as first bellwether case

In what appears to be a move to keep potentially damaging cases from trial, Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to settle a sudden-acceleration lawsuit filed by the families of two people killed in a 2010 crash in Utah. The case had been scheduled to go to trial February 19 as the first of three bellwether cases involving runaway Toyota vehicles. The cases were selected to represent the larger body of wrongful death and personal injury litigation the Japanese auto giant faces over allegations that its vehicles contain a defect that can cause them to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly. Details of ... Read More

Canadian bus company banned from U.S. after deadly Oregon crash

The Canadian tour company whose bus tumbled off an Oregon highway December 30, killing nine passengers and injuring 26 others, has been deemed an “imminent hazard to public safety” and banned from operating in the U.S. by federal regulators. The U.S. Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is charged with regulating commercial carriers and motor coach operators in the U.S., is investigating the deadly crash. So far, the probe has found Mi Joo Tour & Travel has a history of serious safety violations in the U.S. and had been suspended from operating in the country previously. The ... Read More