According to a recent report from ABC Local News 13, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota is issuing the second round of recalls in the past four years for software problems associated with certain models of its Prius hybrid car. In certain situations, this software defect will cause the vehicle to enter what is known as a “fail-safe mode,” which then causes the vehicle to lose power and stall. The vehicle’s power steering and braking systems would still work in such a mode. However, the problem for vehicle owners and drivers becomes that, in fail safe mode, a stall at a fast speed could dramatically increase risks of a motorist becoming involved in a crash. If the vehicle were to stall while the motorist were on the freeway, the driver would be able to brake but would essentially have to coast to the side of the highway in the middle of traffic traveling at 70 mph. This is an extremely hazardous task.
Toyota also recently announced it was recalling a number of its Toyota Tundra pickup trucks, Sequoia SUV’s and Avalon sedans due to problems with the airbags not properly deploying in the event of an accident, which is a deadly hazard for motorists. The recalls, as well as the fact that Toyota could not get the fix for them right the first time around, raises serious questions about the safety of both Toyota Prius hybrids as well as the Tundra pickups and other vehicles recalled by Toyota. If you are a California driver who owns or drives any of the affected vehicles, then you should contact the experienced products liability attorneys of JT Legal Group today for assistance in obtaining compensation for these software and design defects in Toyota vehicles.
The Toyota Prius Recalls
As it relates to the Prius recalls, according to an article by CBS News, this was the second time that Toyota recalled these same vehicles for this exact same problem with stalling. The previous recall took place in 2014 and 2015. The recall just announced this past Friday covers certain 2010 to 2014 Prius hybrids and 2012 to 2014 Prius V hybrids. The specific problems stem from the vehicle’s software and the manufacturer reported that the defect occurs supposedly only in “rare situations” according to a Toyota statement. The manufacturer further announced that dealers will be offering a fix to the problem free of charge to customers. However, despite these assurances coming from Toyota, this recall needs to be taken seriously by anyone who owns or drives a Prius.
The recalls also have a particular connection to California. According to another report from CBS News, a California Toyota dealer sued Toyota after first refusing to sell the affected models. The dealership’s owner was quoted as stating that he is still seeing a number of Prius hybrids coming into his dealership with the drivers reporting problems with the vehicle unexpectedly stalling. This included one Los Angeles woman whose Prius was fixed as a part of the previous recall but she still experienced an incident of stalling on a busy freeway in Los Angeles when her Prius stalled. She is currently suing Toyota over the incident.
What is particularly concerning about this recall is that it is the second time that Toyota has recalled the same models for exactly the same problem. The company did similar recalls in 2014 and 2015 and still couldn’t solve the issues that were supposed to be fixed the first time around. The recall affects over 2.4 million vehicles worldwide, with over 800,000 of those vehicles in the United States. This is almost a million American motorists driving around in unsafe cars due to a safety defect in these Prius hybrids that Toyota cannot seem to fix despite numerous tries.
The Toyota Tundra, Sequoia and Avalon Recalls
Toyota this past Friday also announced a recall covering certain 2018 to 2019 Tundra pickup trucks and Sequoia SUVs, as well as 2019 Avalon cars, to repair an airbag defect. That recall covers about 188,000 vehicles worldwide, including 168,000 vehicles in the United States. A spokesperson for the company stated that “due to inappropriate programming in the airbag electronic control unit (ECU), a fault may be erroneously detected during vehicle startup which would disable one or more of the sensors used to detect crashes.” As a result, front and side airbags could potentially not be deployed in the event of a crash.
Contact JT Legal Group if You Have Been Injured or Your Toyota Vehicle Has Been Recalled Due to a Manufacturing or Design Defect
If you live in California and own or drive a Toyota Prius and have experienced problems with your vehicle unexpectedly stalling or you own or drive a Tundra pickup, Sequoia SUV or Avalon sedan and your airbag never deployed in an accident or other situation in which it should have deployed, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at JT Legal Group at (888) 529-3111 or email@example.com. Our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys handle all manner of personal injury claims, from product liability claims against vehicle manufacturers like Toyota to motor vehicle accidents and everything in between. Automotive part or software malfunctions are unfortunately all too common even as cars are becoming more and more complex (but supposedly safer) and can be even more disconcerting when they occur without the car being involved in an accident or when they involve a vital safety component like an airbag. Without the help of a trusted personal injury law firm like JT Legal Group, your claim may be subject to getting pushed to the side or completely rejected. For more information, including a no cost consultation regarding your particular situation, contact our firm immediately – we’re here to help you.
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