The Toyota Motor Corporation has issued the largest defective auto product recall in the company's history due to a design defect that causes accelerators in some Toyota models to stick and accelerate out of control. The recall comes after a curious series of events in which the auto manufacturer initially claimed that accelerator issues were due to defective floor mats only to later announce the sweeping recall and plans to replace the accelerator pedals on certain models. The story has since escalated as Toyota has halted sale and production of certain auto models as the U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is set to hold a hearing on February 25, 2010 to scrutinize Toyota's actions prior to and leading up to its massive recalls…
On January 16, 2010 Toyota announced a full blown recall of accelerators on 8 of its models, those models were:
- Toyota Prius (2004-09 Models)
- Toyota Avalon (2005-10 Models)
- Toyota Tacoma (2005-10 Models)
- Lexus IS 250 (2006-10 Models)
- Lexus IS 350 (2006-10 Models)
- Lexus ES 350 (2007-10 Models)
- Toyota Camry (2007-10 Models)
- Toyota Tundra (2007-10 Models)
The recall followed initial announcements that Toyota was asking drivers to return floor mats that they believed were contributing to an acceleration issue that occurred when the mats became lodged under the accelerator pedal. Evidence mounted however, that the floor mats were not the sole cause of the autos accelerating out of control. Instead, the theory was put forward that the design of a computerized engine control system with no emergency override was defective and was the real cause of the uncontrolled acceleration.
On January 21, 2010 Toyota expanded its recall, adding 2.3 million additional autos to the list of automobiles that were being recalled. Toyota admitted that there was a "rare possibility" that certain accelerator mechanisms could become stuck in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position during automobile operation. Toyota added that the accelerator pedal mechanism was more likely to malfunction if it was especially worn, causing the problem to develop gradually over time.
The vehicles influenced by the 2nd recall include:
- Toyota Rav4, Corolla, Matrix (2009-2010 Models)
- Avalon (2005-2010 Models)
- Camry (2007-2010 Models)
- Highlander (2010 Model)
- Tundra (2007-2010 Models)
- Sequoia (2008-2010 Models)
As innocent drivers continue to report acceleration issues and more and more are becoming injured in accidents resulting from the auto product defects, the pressure on Toyota has continued to mount. As a result, Toyota announced on January 26, 2010 that it was suspending the sale and production of 8 models due to the accelerator defects. Those models include: RAV4 (2009-2010 Models), Corolla (2009-2010 Models), Matrix (2009-2010 Models), Avalon (2005-2010 Models), Highlander (2010 Model), Tundra (2007-2010 Models), Sequoia (2008-2010 Models), and certain Camry (2007-2010 Models).
Prior to and even after the announcement of these new Toyota recalls, it is remains unclear how many innocent drivers were injured in accidents that were caused by involuntary acceleration of their vehicles. As more and more individuals come forward, the New York auto product liability attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP are actively investigating auto accidents that could be a result of the Toyota defective accelerators.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in New York as a result of what you believe to be an automotive defect, personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, would like to meet with you. Please call our office at (212) 986-7353 to set up an appointment to discuss your case.