Tagged Articles

San Diego 119 articles

What should you do in a car that speeds out of control?

Toyota is telling drivers of certain Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks to remove their driver’s side floor mats immediately until the company can develop a solution to its floor mat problem. The company announced in its September 29 safety advisory that the accelerator pedal may become jammed in full open position when an “unsecured or incompatible floor mat” is used, causing the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally. Previously we have reported on this web site that some of the drivers who became caught in a runaway car were unable to remedy the situation. There’s the story of Bulent and Anne Ezal, ... Read More

Latest Toyota recall vindicates CA man accused of causing fatal crash

Guadalupe Gomez was driving his new 2007 Toyota Camry south on interstate 280 in San Jose, California, when his car began accelerating out of control. Racing down the busy highway at speeds of more than 100 mph, Gomez did all he could to avoid a catastrophic collision. He held down on his horn, pushed the ignition button repeatedly, kicked the accelerator, and switched gears — all while dodging traffic. Unfortunately, Gomez’s car didn’t stop until it collided with Troy Edwin Johnson’s Honda Accord. Johnson, a 39-year-old father of 5, burned to death when his car went up in flames. The ... Read More

Unintentional acceleration problem is an old one for Toyota

Floor mats are behind Toyota’s most recent safety warning affecting some 3.8 million vehicles. But the problem isn’t a new one. A report in the New York Times says that both Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have known about the problem for more than two years. Toyota Motor Corp., according to the Times, has been investigating the potential for floor mats to interfere with the gas pedal since March of 2007. The problem has caused some vehicles to accelerate unintentionally, prompting Toyota to look for solutions. No recalls of the affected vehicles have been announced yet. While a ... Read More

Toyota Motor Corp. announces massive recall

Toyota Motor Corp. announced it would recall 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. in response to reports of sudden and unexpected acceleration in several car and truck models. Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe that removable floor mats are responsible for the runaway acceleration. The mats can shift and interfere with the gas pedal, causing the vehicle to race forward. The recall was prompted by the tragic death of four family members in San Diego County, California late last month. Mark Saylor, a 45-year-old California Highway Patrol officer was driving along state route 125 in the ... Read More

TBI kills UC San Diego pole vaulter

A 19-year-old pole vaulter for the University of Southern California San Diego died earlier this month after receiving a traumatic brain injury. According to the Los Angeles Times, sophomore Leon Roach from Huntington Beach, California, had been practicing his vaults on Thursday, September 3. Roach was completing a jump but missed the pads and hit the concrete instead, landing head first. According to the Los Angeles Times, the accident happened around 7:19 p.m. during a routine rope swing drill at the UC San Diego campus. Reports say that Roach was unresponsive and stopped breathing immediately after the accident occurred. He ... Read More

Northwestern Mutual reps sue company for FLSA violations

Three former Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company employees who filed a $200-million class-action lawsuit against the company claim they were deprived of minimum wages and overtime pay. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Diego, alleging Northwest Mutual misclassified them and hundreds of other employees as independent contractors to save money. Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual denies the allegations, pointing to a similar trial it was involved in last year. In that case, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in favor of Northwestern Mutual, saying it had the right to retain certain employees as independent contractors. The plaintiffs named ... Read More

Paralyzed officer demonstrates need for better roof crush standards

KGTV of San Diego recently published the tragically characteristic story of Luis Pena, a California border patrol agent whose truck rolled over a year and a half ago while he was driving one night while on duty. His truck’s roof caved in, compacting Pena’s body and crushing his spine. “Halfway down my neck, there’s that vertebrae which is the C6, C7 vertebrae where it got dislocated,” Pena told KGTV. “It popped out and it dragged the spinal cord over with it and it created a tear and a pinch on the spinal cord, creating a quadriplegic.” Once a firefighter, police ... Read More

Billboards honor rollover victims, promote roof crush awareness

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Paula Lawlor, founder of the nonprofit organization People Safe in Rollovers, was given the honor Consumer Advocate of the Year by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. A former legal assistant, Lawlor has spent a decade pressuring government and automobile manufacturers to the toughen standards for automobile roof crush resistance. Part of People Safe in Rollovers’ mission is to educate the public about how dangerously weak most car and truck roofs are. Government regulations for minimum roof crush strength are as archaic as they are weak, and few car manufacturers hold themselves to ... Read More

Roof crush activist named as consumer advocate of the year

Paula Lawlor, founder of the nonprofit organization People Safe in Rollovers, is being honored by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego as Consumer Advocate of the Year. Lawlor is a resident of Del Mar, California in San Diego County. She has worked as a consumer safety advocate for 10 years, pressuring government and automobile manufacturers to improve the strength of automobile roofs. Lobbying Washington and petitioning car manufacturers for better roof crush standards have led Lawlor, a former legal assistant, to become one of the highly regarded and widely consulted experts on the subject of roof crush standards. She serves ... Read More