Toyota has recalled more than 9 million vehicles worldwide amid concerns of sudden unintended acceleration
At the end of September 2009, Toyota announced that it would recall nearly 4 million vehicles that, the company says, are at risk of sudden unintended acceleration because of a floor mat problem. Both Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a safety warning on September 29, urging owners of several Toyota and Lexus vehicle models to remove the driver side floor mat immediately. According to the announcement, the gas pedal can become jammed on the floor mat, causing the vehicle to accelerate unexpectedly.
On January 22, Toyota announced another recall of 2.3 million American cars and trucks, saying that the gas pedal mechanisms could wear out over time and cause the accelerator to stick or grow unresponsive.
Both acceleration-related recalls also affect hundreds of thousands of Toyota vehicles in Canada and millions in Europe.
Making matters even worse, on Feb. 5 Toyota announced a third recall that includes more than 300,000 third-generation 2010 Prius hybrid vehicles, and a planned recall for an additional 14,5002010 Lexus HS250h vehicles. The Prius recall is a result of numerous complaints that brakes in these vehicles do not work properly, and can momentarily stop working after the car hits a bump. Toyota is recalling the Prius for a software update for the Antilock Brake System (ABS). The ABS software in the Lexus also will be updated.
Less than two months after an Oklahoma jury found that Toyota had acted with ”reckless disregard” in its response to two women injured in a sudden, unintended acceleration crash, the Japanese auto maker has decided to enter an intensive settlement process. The decision to negotiate a settlement hasn’t surprised many following Toyota’s sudden-acceleration saga. Even though it appeared the carmaker had gained some momentum fighting earlier lawsuits brought by crash victims and their families — as well as vehicle owners suffering monetary losses — the jury’s verdict in Oklahoma likely derailed Toyota’s hopes for prevailing over some 300 additional lawsuits ... Read More
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
Litigation filed in California state courts over sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles has been slated to begin January 1, 2013, starting with a high-profile case alleging the wrongful death of a California woman whose 2006 Camry crashed after it sped out of control. In that case, plaintiff Peter Uno alleges that his wife Noriko Uno died in April 2008 after her Camry suddenly accelerated to speeds over 100 mph while she was traveling on an Upland, California highway. Mrs. Uno ultimately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a telephone pole. Jury selection on this first bellwether case ... Read More
Toyota announced Wednesday that it will begin recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles next month to repair potential safety problems. One recall encompasses about 495,000 Tacoma pickup trucks made in models years 2005 through 2009 and will involve replacing the steering wheel spiral cable assembly. According to Toyota, friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some of the vehicles, possibly resulting in “loss of connectivity to the driver’s air bag module.” Should the electrical connection be interrupted, the driver’s airbag may be deactivated and fail to deploy during a crash. The ... Read More
An internal Toyota document obtained and translated by CNN demonstrates that engineers testing a pre-production car experienced and noted an instance of “sudden unintended acceleration.” The confidential document, drafted in 2006, was never shared with U.S. officials investigating whether an electronic flaw could be causing Toyota vehicles to suddenly speed out of control. Toyota engineers penned the document, relaying the results of a cruise-control test on a vehicle that would later be sold in Japan and Europe as the Lexus 460. “The cruise control activates by itself at full throttle when the accelerator pedal position sensor is abnormal,” the report says, ... Read More
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has acknowledged what it has emphatically denied so far: Not all instances of Toyota Unintended Acceleration are linked to sticky pedals, floor mats or driver error,” said Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS) in a report Wednesday. The Massachusetts-based research group disputes claims made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA that incidences of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles do not stem from an electronic malfunction. SRS has filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit in an effort to obtain documents and videos that it says may show how an electronic problem ... Read More
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is suing Toyota Motor Sales in an effort to recoup a claim it paid to a policyholder whose 2007 Camry suddenly accelerated as she was attempting to park. The insurance company alleges that Toyota installed a faulty accelerator pedal in the plaintiff’s car, causing it to surge forward and collide with a building, causing several thousands of dollars in damage. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Victoria, Texas, states that the plaintiff was attempting to maneuver into a parking space at an office building when the accelerator pedal became stuck, causing the vehicle ... Read More
The family of a Marine who served two tours of combat duty in Iraq only to be killed in Knoxville, Tennessee, when his Toyota Yaris suddenly sped out of control, is suing the carmaker. The new lawsuit is one of the latest cases to join the multi-district litigation involving sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus cars, which have been consolidated in a Santa Ana, California, federal court under Judge James Selna. The 23-year-old Marine was working and attending college in Knoxville. On the morning of December 23, 2010, he was on his way to work to pick up a ... Read More
Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS), the Massachusetts auto safety firm that has been instrumental in holding Toyota accountable for defects related to sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles, is suing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for withholding records that could provide critical insight into the sudden-acceleration problem. “The DOT and NHTSA have pledged transparency but have consistently kept vital information from the public,” said Sean Kane, the founder and head of SRS. “The agency’s numerous investigations into Toyota Unintended Acceleration have been characterized by continued secrecy, preventing a full accounting of their activities and the complete replication ... Read More
Toyota Motor Corp. announced it is recalling 420,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States and an additional 130,000 globally over a flaw that could result in difficulty steering if not corrected. According to Toyota, the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley could become misaligned with the inner ring, creating noise and/or illuminating the vehicle’s discharge warning light. Left uncorrected, the power steering pump’s belt may become detached from the pulley, in which case the driver would notice a sudden increase in steering effort. Toyota says no reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem have been reported. ... Read More