In less than two weeks, Toyota has recalled 3.4 million vehicles in the US over accelerator-related auto defects. The first recall, involving 2.3 million vehicles, was announced because of a sticky gas pedal problem. Toyota has recalled 1.9 million vehicles over the same problem in Europe and China.
That recall was followed by the announcement this week that an earlier recall, involving floor mats that a gas pedal can get stuck on while the car is running, had been expanded. 1.1 million autos are joining the list of 4.3 million vehicles that were recalled last November—adding up to a grand total of 5.4 million Toyota vehicles that may possess this possible vehicle defect.
On Saturday, Toyota told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it had come up with a fix to the sticking gas pedal problem. Details would be announced on Monday. The auto manufacturer’s reputation has been seriously tarnished in the wake of so many safety issues and auto defects.
The floor mat-gas pedal defect was responsible for the August deaths of four family members who were riding a Lexus that not only accelerated to speeds of over 100 mph but also could not be stopped. It turns out the floor mat had jammed the gas pedal. In December, another four people died during a single-vehicle Toyota car crash involved what appears to by a runaway Toyota. This time, the floor mat had been removed from the driver’s side. ABC News reports that there have been over 60 Toyota runaway car accidents in the last few months.
Accelerator-related defects can cause serious Washington DC personal injuries and may be grounds for an auto products liability lawsuit. While recalls are positive in the sense that an auto defect can be fixed, in many instances, the car manufacturer may have waited until after serious injuries or fatalities had occurred before announcing the recall.
Toyota gas pedal fix blessed by government; parts could be at dealers next week, Los Angeles TImes, Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2010
Toyota recall list: What to do if your gas pedal sticks, Christian Science Monitor, January 27, 2010
Toyota recall: 2.3 million cars, CNN, January 22, 2010
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Toyota Motor Corp.
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