Attorneys at Pearce Law are calling it a bizarre case of deja vu. Toyota Motor Corp. has just announced a recall of 2.17 Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S., warning that carpeting and floor mat flaws could jam vehicle gas pedals and result in serious personal injury car accidents. Last month Toyota recalled 1.7 million vehicles, mostly in Japan but including Lexus luxury models sold in the U.S., for defects that could cause fuel leaks. This newest recall comes exactly one year after Toyota company president Akio Toyoda testified before Congress in the wake of a massive 2009 vehicle recall for a disturbingly similar problem. The new recall expands Toyota’s November 2009 recall to fix shifting floor mats that could jam under pedals.
While Toyota’s woes seem to be leading the news, most vehicle manufacturers are forced to issue recalls from time to time to correct potentially dangerous flaws. Last month, Ford Motor Co. recalled 425,000 Windstar minivans in midwestern and northern states to correct faulty subframe mounting brackets. That recall was sparked by 7 vehicle accidents that occurred when mounting brackets separated from the frame of the car. Last month, General Motors expanded a December recall of Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks and SUVs for a rear axle problem that could cause the axle to lock and drivers to lose control of the vehicle.
Fuel leaks, faulty breaks, steering problems, stalling and design flaws — all with the potential to cause serious personal injury accidents and even death — result in major vehicle recalls in Philadelphia and across the U.S. every year. In 2010, motor vehicle complaints topped the list of most frequent consumer complaints received by state and federal reporting agencies. In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported receiving more than 64,000 vehicle complaints, nearly double the 35,000 complaints typical of the past few years.