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Toyota Unveils Plans to Fix Pedal Problem

Here are more details about Toyota’s proposed solution to the sticking throttle problem, courtesy of the American Association for Justice news release:

The Chicago Tribune (2/2, Bensinger, Channick) reports, “Hoping to put the brakes on a public relations disaster, Toyota Motor Corp. revealed plans Monday to fix a sticking gas pedal that halted sales and production for eight models and prompted a massive recall.” ABC World News (2/1, story 4, 2:00, Sawyer) reported, “The automaker said by the week’s end its dealers will begin fixing more than four million vehicles, the ones recalled because of problems with gas pedals and vehicles speeding out of control.”

CBS Evening News (2/1, story 3, 2:30, Couric) reported, “Toyota says it should take trained mechanics no more than 30 minutes to fix its sticky gas pedal, but repairing its reputation could take a while longer.” The Wall Street Journal (2/2, Linebaugh et al.) reports Toyota said it’s confident the repair and another one involving floor mats, will end the speed-control problem. Jim Lentz, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales arm, noted, “These two fixes solve the issues that we know of. … We have done exhaustive testing, and we have found no evidence of problems with the electronics.”

In a front-page story, the New York Times (2/2, A1, Maynard) reports, “Many wonder whether the problem is in the electronic systems that now control many functions that used to be handled mechanically.” Edwin M. Baum, head of the product and consumer litigation practice at Proskauer Rose, said, “If they haven’t got it [right], they have even bigger problems. Nobody knows right now.” The questions “for Toyota are not likely to end. Two Congressional committee hearings are planned, beginning next week.”

The Detroit Free Press (2/1, Gardner) reported, “Toyota has been hit disproportionately hard by unintended-acceleration problems because it has been slower than some competitors in introducing braking technology that could have prevented it, according to safety records and consumer advocates.” Safety advocates “and other critics said there may be multiple potential causes for sudden acceleration, and therefore, multiple solutions. But the most puzzling potential cause is electromechanical interference.”

Toyota faces at least 12 lawsuits. Bloomberg News (2/2, Fisk) reports that Toyota “faces at least 12 lawsuits seeking class-action status in the U.S. and Canada connected to the company’s recalls over sudden acceleration of its vehicles.” A lawsuit “was filed on behalf of all Canadian owners, operators, lessors and passengers of Toyota vehicles with an electronic throttle system called ETCS-i, Rochon Genova LLP,” according to a Toronto law firm. “Consumers in Texas sued on Jan. 29 on behalf of all owners of Toyota and Lexus models equipped with the throttle system in that state.”

The Houston Chronicle (2/1, Flood) reported, “The family of a Houston woman whose car sped through a stop sign and smashed into a cement wall, killing her on impact a week before Christmas, filed what is likely the third acceleration-related wrongful death lawsuit against Toyota in the nation Monday. Trina Renee Harris, a 34-year-old mother of two, died on impact when her 2009 Toyota Corolla slammed into an East Hardy Toll Road cement divider at Barry, leaving no skid marks, Houston police reported. Her husband, Michael Harris, filed a lawsuit Monday against Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., gas pedal maker CTS Corp. and Fred Haas Toyota World, which leased her the car.”

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

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The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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