Last week, Toyota announced what to date is its largest auto recall ever.
3.8 million Lexus and Toyota cars are to be called back over concerns
that the all-weather floor mat might cause the accelerator pedal to jam.
The recall comes one month after a California highway patrol officer and
his family died in a tragic car crash after he was unable to stop his
2009 Lexus ES 350.
Witnesses say the vehicle that CHP Officer Mark Saylor was driving was moving at a very high speed and flames were emanating from the tires before it crashed. Someone who made a 911 call from the vehicle said that the brakes weren’t working. Police investigating the tragic car wreck believe that the gas pedal got stuck in the rubber mat.
On Friday, Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota, called the accident “extremely” regrettable. He offered his condolences and remorse.
The deadly car crash involving the Saylor family is not the first time that similar problems with the floor mat have been reported. More than 100 complaints have been filed over the dangerous floor mats, including reports of several deaths and numerous injuries.
Just this summer, Troy Edwin Johnson’s family settled a wrongful death claim against Toyota for auto products liability. Johnson died in July 2007 when a Toyota Camry speeding at about 120 miles per hour struck his vehicle. His body was severely burned in the fiery car crash. An investigation by police revealed that the Camry’s driver tried to stop her vehicle but that the vehicle’s floor mat may have caused the gas pedal to jam.
Auto Products Liability
Car manufacturers are supposed to make sure their autos are free from defects. When auto defects are discovered, the automaker must remedy the problem so that injuries and deaths are prevented. With respect to the deadly floor mats, The New York Times says that Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has known about their defective design since at least March 2007 after five complaints were made. This prompted a recall. Research conducted at a NHTSA test center determined that because of the accelerator pedal’s design, it could easily become entrapped in the rubber groove of a floor mat that wasn’t properly secured.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car crash that was caused by an auto defect, do not hesitate to contact an experienced auto products liability law firm about your wrongful death or personal injury case.
President of Toyota Apologizes, NY Times, October 3, 2009
Floor mat may have trapped accelerator in CHP officer’s crash, death, SignonSanDiego, September 9, 2009
Toyota Floor Mat Recall Could Have Been Issued Earlier, About Lawsuits, October 4, 2009
Toyota: 3.8 million cars with risky floor mats, CNN Money, October 2, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Toyota News Releases, Toyota
Safer Car, NHTSA