Toyota Recalls Reaches New High As Models Expand to Include Prius and Other Hybrids

Toyota recently announced another recall in the long line of Toyota recalls instituted since Toyota’s September 2009 recalls. In the past year around 8 million Toyota vehicles have been recalled and now over 400,000 of their hybrid vehicles, including the high selling Prius, have been recalled.

The unusually large number of recalls due to potential product defects have caught the attention of the top safety officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other top auto safety officials have made requests for information from Toyota since November, but the manufacturer has yet to comply with the requests.

It has been suggested by a senior American Transportation official that executives at Toyota were “dragging things out” and that the U.S. officials have had it with the automaker’s lack of corporation regarding its auto product defects. The official goes on to state that they “were getting excuses [from Toyota] that didn’t make sense anymore.”

In an unprecedented move, Secretary LaHood approved federal officials’ trip of to Japan in an effort to move matters along, but it could be a month before its top safety aides meet with Tokyo Toyota executives. And even then it may be yet another month before Toyota officially discloses to Washington information regarding the product defects and that it found problems with sticking accelerators.

Further new information suggests that officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to use their power to subpoena records from Toyota at any point in the last several years even though they had reason to believe that the automakers were withholding critical information. The NHTSA is responsible for regulating automakers.

To date there has been a report of at least one death associated with the sticking accelerator problem with respect to Toyota vehicles. U.S. officials are warning Toyota drivers to keep their cars off the road until this product defect has been adequately investigated and solved.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois product defect cases for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Naperville, and Calumet City.

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