| Added On February 13, 2010
Toyota’s third recall was announced this week and involves the 2010 Prius and the 2010 Lexus HS 250h. The official explanation for the problem from Toyota is that “The anti-lock brake system (ABS) in the 2010 model-year Prius, in normal operation, engages and disengages rapidly (many times per second) as the control system senses and reacts to tire slippage. Some owners have reported experiencing inconsistent brake feel during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the anti-lock brake system (ABS) is activated in an effort to maintain tire traction.” Essentially, when drivers try to brake on a bumpy, slick, or otherwise rough surface, the car’s skid control can engage and delay the braking system for 0.46 seconds. The software update that Toyota has announced it will in stall in the affected vehicles will reduce the time of the delay to 0.4 seconds, the time delay on previous generations of the Prius. The question, however, is will the fix work?
According to Toyota, only the brand new 2010 model Prius uses the new braking software. It is for that reason that the recall is limited to the 2010 models. Toyota claims that the older model Prius uses a different type of software that doesn’t have the same safety defect. The problem with that explanation is that records of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) have been pouring in since 2005 complaining of exactly the same problem on older model Prius vehicles. The complaints sound eerily familiar. Most complain of “unintentional acceleration” or “my car surges forward when I try to stop” or “my car won’t stop when I try to brake”. These are essentially the exact same problems that Toyota claims are limited to the 2010 models. And that’s not all. The complaints aren’t limited to the Prius and the Lexus HS 250h. The registry is full of complaints from other model Toyota vehicles from pervious years alleging the same braking and/or unintended acceleration issues. Sadly, many of these complaints included injuries – some serious or fatal. One complaint regarding a 2006 Toyota Corolla reported that he actually crashed the vehicle four separate times because it kept surging forward when he was driving it at slow speeds. So why are there so many similar complaints from previous years and from other Toyota models? That is a question only Toyota can answer but it does raise doubts as to whether the fix Toyota has promised will actually work.
If you believe that you have been injured in an accident as a result of a defective vehicle or a defective part in a vehicle, then contact an experienced California personal injury and product liability attorney immediately. Only an experienced attorney can evaluate your situation and advise you hoe to proceed with your claim. If you have incurred damages as a result of another’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for those damages.
If you would like an experienced attorney to evaluate your case, contact the law offices of Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 or visit us at www.ledgerlaw.com.