The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received
over 100 complaints involving brake problems related to the 2010 Toyota
Prius hybrid. Brake-related complaints have also been filed in Japan.
The Prius is the world’s bestselling gas-electric hybrid, with about 1.6 million sold around the world. According to Japan’s Kyodo new agency, the brakes may temporarily stop working when the vehicle is on slippery or bumpy roads.
In Japan last July, two people were injured when a Prius drove head-on into another vehicle at an intersection. The driver of the Prius said that the car’s brakes were not working. One 2010 Prius owner in the US reported that over a 6-month period, there were 10 instances when the vehicle would accelerate forward for a second as the driver attempted to activate the brakes over a bump or pothole in the road.
This latest news is doing nothing to rehabilitate Toyota’s image as an automaker of safe, reliable cars. In the last two weeks, Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles in the US, Europe, and China over what the auto manufacturer is calling two unrelated accelerator defects. Our auto products liability law firm has been closely following these developments, and you can view our previews posts by clicking on the links below.
Earlier today, US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urged owners the Toyota vehicles that were recalled over a sticking accelerator pad to stop driving the cars and get them fixed immediately. However, LaHood later retracted what he is now calling a “misstatement’ and says that vehicle owners can still drive their cars unless there are signs of problems with the gas pedal. Or, he said, “if you are in doubt, take it to the dealership today.” On Monday, Toyota announced that it has figured out how to fix the accelerator problem and is shipping new parts to its dealers.
Meantime, federal regulators are also trying to determine whether vehicle electronics are causing the Toyotas to accelerate without warning. USA Today reports that electromagnetic interference may be coming from numerous sources, such cell phones and radar. The Los Angeles Times says that Toyota acceleration-related complaints increased dramatically when electronic throttles were introduced.
Toyota hit by more than 100 Prius brake complaints, The Washington Times, February 3, 2010
Toyota recall: DOT Secretary Ray LaHood pulls back from telling owners not to drive their cars, USA Today, February 3, 2010
Toyota Recalls Another 1.1 Million Autos Over Floor Mat – Gas Pedal Defect, Product Liability Law Blog, January 29, 2010
Gas Pedal Defect Prompts Toyota Recall of Another 2.3 Million Vehicles in US, Product Liability Law Blog, January 25, 2010
Related Web Resources:
3rd Generation Toyota Prius Hybrid, Toyota
Toyota Recall List
Secretary LaHood Statement on Toyota Recalls, US Department of Transportation, February 3, 2010
Our auto products liability attorneys at Gilbert & Ollanik, PC are not afraid to go up against the largest car manufacturers in the world if it means that our injured clients will receive their financial recovery.