Automaker Toyota is recalling approximately 261,000 pickup trucks and SUVs over concerns that their electronic safety systems may become disabled. The vehicles affected included the Lexus RX 350 (’12, ’13 models), the Toyota Tacoma (’12, ’13 models) and the Toyota RAV4 (’12 model).
The safety issue involves a “manufacturing variation” problem that could shut down traction control, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control, which all play a part in correcting vehicles when skidding happens. Should these functions become disabled, this may decrease “directional control assistance” while upping the chance of a car accident.
Toyota started getting complaints about this safety issue in July 2012. The automaker said that it started investigating the issue right away. It found that in most instances, the whole system would resume working properly if the vehicle was shut off and started back up again. However, Toyota said, it wasn’t sure what was causing the problem.
The car manufacturing did find that the safety issue was only happening to cars that had parts made by an Ohio supplier. In December 2012, Toyota dropped that US supplier and started using parts that were made in Japan.
In another recall, Toyota is recalling 700,000 Prius vehicles (2010 to 2012 models) in the North America because of a software problem that may cause the car to stall. The automaker is recalling over a million other Priuses in other parts of the world over the same issue. Recalled vehicles will get a software update to their car’s electronics control.
Current settings to the software might create heat in certain transistors in the vehicle’s circuits, causing damage. This could lead to an auto shutdown during operation.
Last year, Toyota recalled 5.3 million autos in the US, which is more than any other car maker. Currently, the manufacturer is close to settling a four-year federal criminal probe into hits handling of safety complaints over sudden acceleration.The Wall Street Journal reports that this amount could reach as high as $1 billion. Meantime, hundreds of auto products liability cases over this problem seeking compensation for personal injury and wrongful death have yet to be resolved.
At the Gilbert Law Group, our auto defects lawyers represent clients injured in car crashes caused by defective and malfunctioning vehicle parts. We have successfully gone up against some of the largest automakers in the world on behalf of our clients.
Auto defects can lead to catastrophic injuries and deaths—not just for those in a faulty/malfunctioning vehicle, but also to pedestrians and the occupants of other vehicles that end up getting involved in a traffic crash as a result of the safety issue. You want to work with an experienced auto products liability law firm that knows how to determine what happened and can prove that the manufacturer, seller, distributor, and/or another driver were negligent.