The world’s number one automaker now faces yet another inquiry about the now eight and a half million vehicles it has recalled to date. Toyota officials are scheduled to testify in front of Congressional leaders on the 24th of February but now the Transportation Department is initiating its own investigation. Just this week, the Transportation Department issued demands for documents relating to Toyota’s extensive recalls in the United States. The ‘demands” are legally similar to a subpoena. The Transportation Department is asking the same questions that Congressional leaders and much of the public are asking – When did Toyota know about the defects? Did Toyota act swiftly enough? Could the growing number of accidents have been prevented by Toyota?
Toyota has 60 days to respond to the demands by the Transportation Department regarding the first two recalls. Those two recalls have come to be known as the “accelerator entrapment recall” and the “sticky pedal recall”. Between the two recalls, close to eight million vehicles worldwide have been recalled. The Transportation Department is looking for detailed timelines regarding when Toyota became aware of the problems, how it handled complaints regarding the two defects and how much it has paid to date in warranty claims. Additionally, the Transportation Department wants to see internal communications regarding the pedal problems and a list of company officials that were involved in making decisions about the defective products. The Transportation Department is also asking questions about the possibility that electronics of the gas pedal system could be the cause, or a part of the cause, for the defective products. Toyota has indicated that their tests show that the electronics are not to blame. Complaints continue to pour in to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from Toyota made vehicle owners – many from owners of vehicles that are NOT currently covered by one of the recalls. This is one of the reasons that the Transportation Department is looking into other possible causes for the complaints. If the electronic system, or another explanation, is to blame, then the recalls may actually affect more vehicles than are currently included. This would be welcome news for Toyota vehicle owners that are not currently part of a recall.
If you have been involved in an accident and believe that one of the recalled vehicles was to blame, or partially to blame, then you may be entitled to receive compensation for any damages you have suffered. Under the laws of negligence in the State of California, if a defective product causes, or contributes to, an accident, then the victims of the accident can file suit against the manufacturer to recover damages they have suffered. The experienced attorneys at Ledger & Associates can answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options if you have been involved in a car accident. Battling a giant like Toyota may seem impossible, but that is why you need an experienced lawyer to fight for you. Contact the team at Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 or visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com