Tuesday, October 6, 2009
More problems for Toyota: recall for defects, 2.5 years too late
About a week ago, the news came out that a former high-ranking attorney for Toyota alleged the auto maker conspired to illegally conceal and withhold evidence in cases related to rollover accidents (see here). Then, a few days later, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against Toyota, ordering it not to destroy any evidence on the crashworthiness of its vehicles. (see here). Go here for an update on that part of the story. Now there are reports that Toyota has announced a recall of 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles due to problems with the driver’s side floor mats, which can cause the accelerator to stick and result in a loss of vehicle control. Go here for the full story. But wait! There is more: AboutLawsuits.com is reporting today that Toyota knew about potential floor mat problems more than two and a half years before issuing the recall. In fact, according to a report in the New York Times, officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating potential problems with Toyota and Lexus floor mats as early as March 2007, after receiving complaints from Lexus ES 350 owners that their vehicles were suddenly accelerating out of control. However, it wasn't until after a fatal auto accident in August 2009, where 4 people died that NHTSA officials met with Toyota to discuss concerns about continuing complaints of uncontrollable acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Go here for more on this story.