Toyota officials fail to give adequate answers at hearings:
It appears as though the much awaited congressional hearings into Toyota’s three recent recalls have raised more questions than they have answered. The recalls, which now cover over eight million Toyota manufactured automobiles, have come to be known as the “floor mat recall”, the “sticky pedal recall” and the “unintended acceleration recall”. The recalls began last October with the latest recall being announced just this month. Regulators and lawmakers alike have been quick to question the automaker giant about when they became aware of the defects, whether the recalls encompass all the affected vehicles and whether or not the announced repairs will actually solve the problem. Hearings held in front of congressional leaders were originally scheduled for earlier this month, however a snow storm delayed the hearings until this week. The extra time to prepare doesn’t seem to have provided Toyota officials with satisfactory answers to the Committee’s questions.
One of the biggest questions appears to be whether the ‘fixes” that Toyota has announced will actually solve the problems. Toyota officials have repeatedly denied that electronics are to blame for the unintended acceleration problems. Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda testified to the congressional panel that electronics were not to blame for the defects, however Toyota’s U.S. President James Lentz admitted that he wasn’t sure that the non-electric fix that Toyota had originally announced to solve the problem would actually work. Congressional leaders ordered testing by an auto engineering professor that ultimately showed that he could defeat the protection that Toyota has implemented to prevent sudden acceleration. Despite Toyota’s claim that its own testing shows that the repairs will work, the auto engineer hired by congressional leaders says that Toyota’s testing did not test for interference from electronics inside the vehicles, from cellular telephones or from airport radar. Still not convinced after two days of hearings, Congressional leaders, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are continuing to investigate the electronic throttle control system as well as whether electro-magnetic interference is actually to blame for the sudden acceleration problems.
For the owners of vehicles affected by the recalls, it appears as though Toyota officials have yet to fully explain, much less fix the problems. For those that have been involved in an accident as a result of one of the recalled vehicles, the unanswered questions retain even more importance. If Toyota produced vehicles with defective parts, then they may be held responsible for any damages sustained as a result of those defects. Under the product liability and personal injury laws of the State of California, a manufacturer will have to compensate a victim for their contribution to an accident and any ensuing injuries. If you have been involved in an accident and you believe that a defective vehicle was partially or entirely to blame, then contact an experienced California product liability and personal injury lawyer immediately. Ledger & Associates have attorneys that are experienced in claims involving defective products and can answer any questions you may. They can be contacted online at www.ledgerlaw.com or toll free at 1-800-300-0001.