October 15, 2014,
The Wall Street Journal announced yet another Toyota recall. Though no injuries or deaths were
reported, these brake and fuel system defects amounted to the car manufacturer’s
18th recall of the year in the U.S. If you believe your accident was the
result of a manufacturer defect, attorney
Chris Mellino welcomes you to
contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation.
Toyota Recall 2009: Runaway Cars
Motor Trend reported in 2010, Toyota’s recalls began after an off-duty police
officer and three family members were killed in a fiery accident September 28, 2009.
The vehicle allegedly accelerated on its own, hit a Ford Explorer, careened
through a fence, “and struck a dirt embankment, catapulting it through
the air more than 100 feet,” an
NBC News affiliate said. “All of the victims died from blunt force trauma either to
the head or torso. The county’s medical examiner declared all deaths
as the result of an accident.”
Toyota blamed the unintended acceleration problem on floor mats becoming
stuck beneath the gas pedal, as ABC News reported November 3, 2009. Company
executives refused to acknowledge consumer concerns about a potential
glitch in the electrical system. Toyota did, however, recall 3.8 million
cars, including the Camry and Prius, weeks later, per Huffington Post.
Toyota Gas Pedal Problems: 2010
“This new recall is separate from an on-going recall of 4.2 million
Toyota and Lexus vehicles to correct a problem in which the pedals could
become stuck under a loose floormat,”
CNN reported January 22, 2010. “This new recall is to correct a situation
in which the gas pedal could stick without the presence of a floor mat.”
During the first four months of 2010, Toyota recalled 8.5 million vehicles
around the world due to gas pedal, floor mat, and brake issues, per Huffington Post.
“In the past three weeks, consumers have told the government about
nine crashes involving 13 alleged deaths between 2005 and 2010 due to
accelerator problems, according to a NHTSA database,” the article said.
August 5, 2010,
ABC News reported that 32-year-old Koua Fong Lee had been freed from prison after
serving two years of an eight-year manslaughter sentence.
“I am confident that we can show Koua’s Toyota ran away on
him,” his attorney said.
Prosecutors opted not to try Lee again for the crash.
March 19, 2014, the
United States Department of Justice issued a press release stating it had fined Toyota $1.2 billion for lying
about safety issues.
“When car owners get behind the wheel, they have a right to expect
that their vehicle is safe. If any part of the automobile turns out to
have safety issues, the car company has a duty to be upfront about them,
to fix them quickly, and to immediately tell the truth about the problem
and its scope. Toyota violated that basic compact. Other car companies
should not repeat Toyota’s mistake: a recall may damage a company’s
reputation, but deceiving your customers makes that damage far more lasting,”
Attorney General Eric Holder said.
2011: Toyota Adds 4Runner SUV and RAV4 to 2009 Floor Mat Recall
February 24, 2011, CNN reported that 2.2 million cars were being called
back, so dealers could “reshape the cars’ gas pedals and floorboards
so that they won’t get stuck even when thick, all-weather floormats