Toyota Accelerator Recall

Posted on January 13, 2010

The Toyota Motor Corporation recently issued the largest product recall in the company’s history due to a design defect that caused accelerators in some Toyota models to stick and accelerate out of control. These stuck accelerators have killed many people and countless more have suffered injuries from the inability to control and stop their vehicles. The recall affects 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles dating back to 2004 models. If you or someone you care for has been hurt or killed due to a stuck Toyota accelerator, the Los Angeles Toyota accelerator recall lawyers at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP may be able to help.

Initially, Toyota warned owners that a floor mat stuck under the accelerator pedal was the cause of the problems and recommended that owners remove their floor mat to remedy the problem. If the owner was unable to remove the mat and their vehicle sped out of control, Toyota advised owners to step on the brake pedal with both feet until they slowed down, put the vehicle in neutral, and switch their ignition to the accessory position. However, there is now evidence to suggest that floor mats do not cause the stuck accelerators. Instead, many believe that the design of a computerized engine control system with no emergency override may be flawed and cause some Toyota vehicles to suddenly accelerate out of control. The Toyota models included in the recall are:

  • Toyota Prius (2004–09 Models)
  • Toyota Avalon (2005–10 Models)
  • Toyota Tacoma (2005–10 Models)
  • Lexus IS 250 (2006–10 Models)
  • Lexus IS 350 (2006–10 Models)
  • Lexus ES 350 (2007–10 Models)
  • Toyota Camry (2007–10 Models)
  • Toyota Tundra (2007–10 Models)

Toyota has directed owners of these models to reference their owner’s manual if their vehicle accelerates out of control. The manual states, “If you have to make an emergency stop, press and hold the ‘power’ switch for more than three seconds.” Again, however, Toyota has admitted that taking these steps will disable their vehicles with power steering and power brakes.

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