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Toyota 219 articles

Family of Marine killed in sudden acceleration crash sues Toyota

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

Auto safety group sues NHTSA for withholding Toyota sudden-acceleration report

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 announces recall of 550,000 vehicles to fix steering flaw

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

Strong yen prompts Toyota to ask suppliers for ‘shared sacrifice’

The rising value of the Yen is putting pressure on Toyota to cut back on costs in order to remain competitive in the global market, where most currencies are far weaker than Japan’s. The appreciating Yen has been putting a chokehold on Toyota and other Japanese exporters as they struggle to recoup from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan’s eastern coast, creating widespread power shortages and disruptions in the industrial supply chain. Toyota isn’t new to the cost-cutting game. Under the stewardship of Katsuaki Watanabe, who led Toyota until 2009, the automaker instituted a series ... Read More

Sudden acceleration, other woes spell long recovery for Toyota

Toyota has fallen, but it might take years for it to get back up. According to Forbes, the Japanese auto giant’s share of the U.S. market has slid from 17 percent for all of 2009 to 11.5 percent in September. Making matters worse for the company is the fact that its sales were eclipsed last month by Chrysler Group LLC, an automaker that almost ceased to exist a couple of years ago and one which historically has always trailed far behind Toyota. Just four years ago, Toyota usurped General Motors as the world’s leading automaker, so what happened? Most analysts ... Read More

Judge dismisses first bellwether suit against Toyota over jurisdictional issue

The federal judge overseeing lawsuits filed in federal courts against Toyota for sudden unintended acceleration damages has dismissed the lawsuit previously selected as the first bellwether case, saying it belonged in a Utah State court. In June, Judge James Selna of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, had chosen a lawsuit involving a Utah crash that killed two people and injured two others as the first of the bellwether cases that will help determine how the rest of the multi-district litigation will proceed. In September, Judge Selna tentatively rejected Toyota’s motion that the case be tossed out. On ... Read More

Judge likely to rule against Toyota and allow sudden-acceleration trial to go forward

The federal judge presiding over multi-district litigation (MDL) involving sudden-acceleration claims against Toyota said Monday he may reject the auto maker’s motion seeking to toss the first of hundreds of lawsuits. In June, Judge James Selna of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, had chosen a lawsuit involving a Utah crash that killed two people and injured two others as the first of the bellwether cases that will help determine how the rest of the litigation will proceed. The Utah crash occurred on November 5, 2010, as Paul Van Alfen, 66, exited the interstate in Wendover, Utah. Instead ... Read More

Electronic causes for sudden acceleration in Toyotas likely, new study finds

An independent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) demonstrates that, contrary to NASA’s conclusions, an electronic cause for the sudden unintended acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles is not just probable, but highly likely. In conducting their analysis of Toyota’s engine control systems, CALCE researchers Bhanu Sood, Michael Osterman, and Michael Pecht did agree with NASA scientists who found that “tin whiskers” were present in the accelerator pedal units of every potentiometer they examined. But whereas NASA relied on an analysis of warranty data provided by Toyota’s defense expert Exponent to ... Read More

Minnesota man reclaims his life after Toyota acceleration crash, prison

ST. PAUL, MINN – Koua Fong Lee, who was imprisoned in 2007 after his Toyota Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed into traffic, killing three, gave an interview to the St. Paul Pioneer Press recently, looking back his wrongful conviction and subsequent release. We have followed Mr. Lee’s story on this blog as one of the most striking – and tragic — illustrations of human lives destroyed and forever changed because of a single automotive defect. On June 10, 2006, Lee was traveling along Interstate 94 in St. Paul on his way home from church. In the car with him were ... Read More

NASA’s Toyota sudden-acceleration report flawed, researchers find

The study NASA conducted to determine if an electronic flaw could be responsible for sudden unintended acceleration incidents in Toyota vehicles was the product of a collusion between trusted government agencies and powerful special interests, Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS) reports on its website, and it has the facts to back up such a bold claim. In its report “How NHTSA and NASA Gamed the Toyota Data,” SRS details how the owners of Quality Control Systems Corp. thoroughly analyzed the NASA report, which found no evidence of an electronic glitch behind Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem. Their findings: that the ... Read More