This past Tuesday the Toyota Motor Company made an announcement that it would be recalling over 50,000 of its Tundra pick-up trucks. The voluntary recall came after the auto manufacturer discovered that this model’s driveshaft slip yokes were not properly casted and assembled.
The driveshaft slip yoke is cast out of molten metal, meaning that a mold is first made which the melted metal is then poured into. However, because of flaws in the casting process, the casted yokes have been found to have a tendency to crack or break under normal wear and tear. This product defect could either be the result of a design defect or a flaw in the manufacturing process.
This product defect could be dangerous to truck drivers because the driveshaft slip yoke is responsible for connecting the truck’s driveshaft to its transmission. Therefore, if the yoke were to fail, then the engine’s power would not be transferred to its wheels and the driver could lose control of the truck. For example, if the front driveshaft of a Toyota Tundra were to break, then the truck could be in danger of turning over.
While Toyota believes that only a small percentage of the current model Tundras may be fitted with the defective yokes, they still elected to institute a voluntary recall. After its widespread recall of 2009 and 2010 Toyota models due to suspicions of various product defects, the car manufacturer seems to be focused on improving its image. The 2009 and 2010 vehicle recalls reached record heights, with over eight million vehicles being recalled before it was over.
However, while public opinion might still be wavering on Toyota’s products, the judicial system seems to have come to at least one conclusion about the 2009 and 2010 recalls. A New York jury found that the car manufacturer was not liable for a 2005 car crash involving a Toyota Scion in Sitafalwalla v. Toyota Motor Corporation. However, while the car company managed to come out on top of the one case, there are still many product liability lawsuits pending across the company.
In response to its Tundra’s product defect, Toyota seems to have taken a more preventive approach. This would explain why the company has instituted a voluntary recall despite the low numbers of affected vehicles. Tundra owners will be advised of the voluntary recall via first class mail sometime in May 2011 and will be instructed on how to comply with the recall.
If you own a 2011 Tundra pick-up truck and would like to take advantage of the Toyota recall, please follow the following steps:
-bring your 2011 Tundra into your nearest Toyota dealership
-the dealership will conduct a 10 minute inspection to determine whether or not your vehicle’s slip yoke is defective
-if your yoke is defective, the dealership will remove and replace your yoke
-if your yoke is not defective, you may take your car with you as soon as they are done.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois product defect cases for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Westchester, Bellwood, Glenview, Cicero, Stickney, and South Holland.
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