Toyota Issues Another Recall Over Gas Pedal Issues

<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">Defective automobiles manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation are making headlines again. According to USA Today, Toyota just announced another massive recall, this time over a problem with the throttle remaining open. The new recall involves 2.3 million Toyota-brand vehicles, both cars and trucks, going back as gar as 2005. Lexus and Scions are not part of this week’s recall, said USA Today.

Toyota recently announced its largest recall in history and that it will be replacing accelerator pedals on over four million recalled vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The pedals, said the Associated Press (AP), can become stuck in floor mats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the cars involved contain an “underlying defect” that involves accelerator pedal and the driver’s side foot well, said the Los Angeles Times previously. Toyota long maintained the issue is with an “improperly installed floor mat,” but did finally issue the massive recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles late this September. According to Toyota, said USA Today, about 1.7 million vehicles are involved in both recalls.

“This situation is slowly spiraling out of control. As a company with a reputation for steadiness, these must be uncomfortable days for Toyota,” said James Bell, quoted USA Today. Bell is an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. In November, Toyota recalled 110,000 Tundra pickups because the vehicle’s spare tires might could potentially fall from the storage beam under the cargo bed, crashing into traffic, said USA Today.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times previously reported that Toyota “has delayed recalls, kept a tight lid on disclosure of potential problems, and tried to blame human error in cases where owners claimed vehicle defects.” Toyota and Lexus vehicles have been involved in accidents that caused 19 deaths, a figure larger than at all other carmakers combined, said the Times.

The NHTSA issued a statement in November that accused Toyota of releasing “inaccurate and misleading information” by saying the NHTSA found no issue with vehicles without mats or with correctly fitted mats; however, the agency said it actually cited other issues and mat removal did not address the originating problem, according to USA Today.

USA Today cited an ABC News report discussing the issue which stated, “More than 60 new cases of runaway Toyotas have been reported by safety experts since the company said last year it had solved the problem with a massive recall of suspect floor mats and proposed changes to gas pedals, safety experts tell ABCNews.com.” The report is accessible at http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter. Despite that Toyota long maintained that the issue had to do with consumers incorrectly installing mats, the ABC News report stated, “In the most dramatic incident, on the day after Christmas, four people died in Southlake, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, when a 2008 Toyota sped off the road, through a fence and landed upside down in a pond. The car’s floor mats were found in the trunk of the car, where owners had been advised to put them as part of the (first) recall.

Regarding stuck throttles, NHTSA records indicate dozens of consumer complaints and an online forum at Edmunds.com has been recording consumer complaints since late 2006, said USA Today. “The days of Toyota being automatically successful with everything it touches are well and truly over,” said Peter DeLorenzo, editor of AutoExtremist.com, quoted USA Today.

A search of NHTSA records revealed that Toyota issued eight other recalls over unintended acceleration in the past 10 years, said Press Democrat, higher than at any other automobile maker. The auto giant is also named as a defendant is some 10 lawsuits that allege unintended acceleration resulting in four injuries and a stunning five deaths, said Press Democrat. At least one attorney is seeking to reopen a variety of lawsuits involving Toyota rollover issues over concerns the automaker “routinely hid information,” said Press Democrat.

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