Toyota has a long list of recall and lawsuits over its acceleration problem. Recently, it announced a series of recall for Avalon 2010, Camry 2010, Tundra 2010, and Lexus ES350 2010.
The National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA), which monitors safety requirements of car manufacturers, has ordered Toyota to recall its vehicles in response to complaints and lawsuits from injured users. Since 2009, Toyota has recalled about 8.5 million of its vehicles.
In September 2009, NHTSA received various complaints against Toyota regarding its gas pedal that suddenly accelerates when stuck in floor mats. It causes serious and fatal injuries resulting from accidents. Toyota recalled 3.8 million of its vehicles, and tried to install corrective devices.
In January 2010, Toyota admitted that the defect in gas pedals was due to faulty electronic throttle system. The admission has led to the recall of nearly 2.3 million cars and compelled Toyota to address the acceleration problem.
In February 2010, NHTSA received numerous complaints on the Prius 2010 model regarding its defective brakes. Toyota recalled about 500,000 of its model.
NHTSA has required Toyota to inform its customers on the ongoing recall and suspend sales on the complained models. On February 2010, NHTSA found out that Toyota has been knowledgeable of the safety defect for four months, but failed to report and correct the problem. The NHTSA fined Toyota with $16 million.
Toyota has the highest record of recalls and litigation over acceleration problems. It includes Personal Injury and Product liability lawsuits from individual consumers and affected groups.
In proving Product liability, the following elements must be established:
- The plaintiff sustained real injuries or losses.
- The vehicle and its vehicle parts have a manufacturing defect and hazardous design.
- The injury or losses resulted from the dangerous design or manufacturing defect
The plaintiff needs to present evidence that will prove the above three elements. Some questions that will clarify the fault include:
- Is the gas pedal the cause of accident?
- Does the accident cause the injury?
- Is the accelerator pedal faulty?
You may use the following documents as evidence for your Product liability claim:
- Photos from the accident scene
- Copy of police report
- Debris from the defective auto part
- Medical records
- Warranty from car purchase and user guide
- Purchase agreement and insurance policy
You may present supporting documents such as witness statements and expert opinion to substantiate your claim.
Toyota may contest that the plaintiff's own negligent acts contributed to the accident such as Driving under Influence (DUI) or other forms of impaired driving.
To help you assert your rights, consult with a Product Liability lawyer in Los Angeles.