Recalls and image problems continue for Toyota, which has issued two more recalls since I wrote last week about the first unintended-acceleration defect lawsuits. This week, the automaker announced that it would recall third-generation Prius and 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrids because of a problem with their braking software. That’s 155,000 vehicles in the United States and 437,000 worldwide. In papers filed with federal regulators, Toyota said the vehicles’ electronic anti-lock braking system doesn’t work as well when driven over rough or slippery roads. This can increase the time necessary to stop the vehicle, the Detroit News reported Feb. 9. It will also open the company up to further liability from angry customers and Missouri auto accident lawyers like me.
Significantly, the article said Toyota knew about the braking problem at least a month ago, but didn’t tell customers or regulators about it. The company has already readied a software patch for the Prius and is working on another for the HS 250h; both will be installed as part of the recall. However, the brake recall is just one of Toyota’s new problems. The automaker has also recalled 7,300 2010 Camrys because of a possible problem with a power steering hose. The hose is placed in a way that may wear a hole in brake tubes, decreasing the brakes’ effectiveness. This recall is not a result of complaints, but stems from an observation by an employee in Kentucky. However, the federal government may investigate power steering problems in 2009 and 2010 Corollas, after receiving more than 80 complaints from drivers.
As a St. Louis car wreck attorney, I am particularly disturbed to read that Toyota knew about the brake problem and even worked on fixing it before revealing it. The desire to have a solution on hand is understandable, but failing to disclose the problem takes away drivers’ options for dealing with it. Some drivers undoubtedly won’t mind, but others may have preferred to park the car for the time it took Toyota to prepare the software patch. That could be particularly true because the braking problem is worse in winter. As with the floor mat and brake pedal recalls, Toyota’s behavior leaves observers like me wondering whether it was as forthcoming as possible and acted as early as possible to save lives.


If you were in a serious car crash caused by a vehicle defect, you should call the Lowe Law Firm as soon as possible. We have substantial experience in cases involving defective products of all kinds, including defective vehicles and vehicle parts. Lead attorney Jeffrey Lowe has won a $105 million verdict in Missouri for a client injured by a defective tire rim that exploded. He has also won substantial verdicts in cases involving defective medical products and miniblinds. All manufacturers of consumer goods have a legal responsibility to offer only goods that are safe to use as intended. When they fail, our southern Illinois car accident lawyers help clients hold them legally responsible and recover fair compensation. In a lawsuit, you can claim repayment of all of your medical bills, lost income and other costs as well as compensation for your injuries, pain and any disability or wrongful death.
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