After much pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota has announced the recall of another 2.17 million vehicles, bringing the total number of recalls up to more than 13 million in the U.S. alone since September of 2009.
This auto defect recall – which echoes the same as previous complaints of stuck pedals and sudden acceleration – comes just two weeks after a NASA study concluded that there were no problems with sudden acceleration.
This newest recall of 2.17 million affects Toyota models going back to as far as 2003. As part of the recall, Toyota has laid out extensive plans to replace the carpet on some models that is believed to be causing the accelerator to stick, and in some models will actually be replacing a plastic pad that is inside of the carpet that is believed to be getting caught on the accelerator. However, in some models – like the 4Runner, RAV4 and Lexus LX, Toyota is still in the process of developing some kind of fix to the acceleration problem.
Even before this most recent recall, Toyota was already facing hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, as well as suits related to economic damages. With this latest round of recalls it’s imagined that even more lawsuits will start to be filed.
One of those lawsuits is from a woman who was in a crash that caused spinal and brain injuries. At the time of the crash the woman claimed that while in reverse, her 2005 Highlander started to accelerate on its own. However, at the time of the crash her make and model was not included in any recalls. But, this newest recall does include that model, and she plans on suing.
And while Toyota has come just short of claiming that this newest recall will be the last of customer complaints, others – like the head of the Center for Auto Safety – aren’t so sure and suspect that there might actually be other problems with the vehicles that aren’t related to the gas pedals and floor mats, which if true could result in even more recalls and even more lawsuits for Toyota.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, “Toyota to recall 2.17 million more vehicles,” Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian, 25 Feb 2011