Toyota is making headlines once again for vehicle defects – this time issuing a recall for more than 1.3 million vehicles across the world for two defects that could lead to injury.
Our Greenville personal injury lawyers are dismayed at this news for several reasons, not the least of which is that this top-selling manufacturer issued a dozen recalls last year for 5.3 million vehicles – the most of any other auto company in the world.
This is actually the third major recall involving more than 1 million vehicles that the company has issued since October. As it stands, the company is already struggling to better its battered reputation, following numerous recalls two and three years ago involving vehicles that improperly accelerated, contributing to some 89 deaths and even more injuries. In December, the company agreed to a $1 billion settlement in those cases, though there are still hundreds more personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits pending.
Then last fall, the company recalled some 7.4 million cars due to a window problem that created a risk of fire. The very next month, nearly 3 million hybrid vehicles were recalled for steering problems.
So this latest news is not surprising, but it’s troubling that Toyota continues to fail in its responsibility to produce safe vehicles for their millions of consumers.
The most recent recalls include more than 750,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S., sold between 2003 and 2004. According to the company, these vehicles are affixed with airbags that reportedly have the potential to deploy inadvertently. There is apparently a chip in the bags’ control units that can cause it to malfunction when there is electrical interference. The chip was reportedly produced by an outside company, though officials with the company declined to say which one.
So far, this problem has caused injuries in roughly 20 cases.
To fix the problem, Toyota has instructed Corolla owners to bring their vehicles in to have an additional signal filter installed.
The second recall involves faulty windshield wipers, and it involves some 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles. The company has indicated that the wipers have the potential to be rendered inoperable in conditions with heavy snow. Of course, this is especially troubling as we contend with dangerous winter storms across the country. Snow and salt inevitably contribute to visibility issues for drivers in these conditions, but having your windshield wiper fail altogether has the potential to prove fatal. Already, there have been more than 25 reports of problems due to this, but thankfully so far no serious injuries or deaths.
The company says that a certain nut on the wiper arm may not have been tightened correctly at the factory.
As we recently reported in our Greenville Injury Lawyer Blog, the company’s top-selling Camry models performed rather poorly in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Researchers found that in instances of collision, the Camry’s front wheel was pushed back by the impact, and the passenger compartment footwell was pushed inward.
Toyota sales topped 9.75 million last year, making it the top-selling auto manufacturer in the world.
Contact our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Toyota to recall 1M vehicles for airbag, wiper glitches, Jan. 30, 2013, Staff Report, Reuters
More Blog Entries:
Toyota Camry is a Failure in New Crash Tests, Jan. 4, 2013, Greenville Personal Injury Attorney Blog