Our Toyota car accident attorneys have commented on the rash of evidence coming to light of the negligent safety practices at Toyota Motor Corporation. Just when many had become convinced that Toyota had turned a corner, and that we had learned all there is to learn about the auto company’s misdeeds and its disregard for the safety of its consumers, yet another delayed recall has come to light.
Last week, Toyota announced a recall of almost 139,000 Lexus automobiles. This latest recall relates to potential defects in valve springs, which can leave to engine failures. All told, the company expects this recall to extend to about 270,000 luxury vehicles, including Lexus cars and Toyota Crown autos. The recall will extend to vehicles in the United States, as well as Japan, Australia, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Toyota has now recalled over ten million vehicles worldwide over the course of a few short months.
In the first and most highly publicized of the recent recalls, Toyota recalled a series of vehicles whose accelerators could become stuck. The public then learned that Toyota waited at least four months, after learning of this extremely dangerous sudden acceleration defect, before informing U.S. authorities. The second publicity disaster involved the Toyota recall of SUVs and pickups whose steering systems can break, causing drivers to lose control of the vehicles. Shockingly, in that instance it came out that after learning of the defect Toyota waited at least a year before informing U.S. authorities and issuing the U.S. recall.
The stories grow ever more shocking. Our Chicago wrongful death attorneys were startled to learn that this time, Toyota waited over three years from the time it first learned of the defect until it notified U.S. authorities and issued a recall. Indeed, Toyota first learned of the defect comprising last week’s recall at least as early as March of 2007. Although there have not yet been any reports of accidents or deaths arising from this particular defect, it seems highly likely that a defect leading to complete engine failure would eventually result in fatalities or serious injury. Toyota’s decision to gamble with the lives of its customers and those in their paths for over three years is simply inexcusable.
It seems that Toyota has a pattern of disregarding consumer safety and unreasonably delaying product recalls. This makes the role of courageous victims that much more important in forcing the company, and others like it, to readjust its priorities. Toyota Motor Corporation has now conclusively demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to itself take measures to ensure public safety. Nor can the U.S. authorities effectively force compliance from the automobile industry: indeed, the latest series of recalls indicates that the industry is actively flouting its reporting obligations.
It is sad but true that many corporations will only take steps to protect consumers and the public when forced to do so – and civil litigation seems to be the only effective tool. If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life due to a defective product (whether a Toyota or not) or as a result of negligence in some other context, your courage to take action against the company may be the only thing that can force action, and prevent further injuries and death.
Contact one of our top-rated Chicago car accident lawyers. We urge those injured by the negligence of Toyota to come forward, and to not only make them pay for what they have done, but make them think twice about doing it again, for the fourth time.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.