Toyota recalls 6.5 million vehicles for defect with power window switch

Toyota recalls 6.5 million vehicles for defect with power window switch

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Air Bag Defect Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota recalls 6.5 million vehicles for defect with power window switch

Toyota Motor Co. is recalling 6.5 million vehicles across the world for a defect with the power window switch.

Toyota shared that the window switch may not have been manufactured with enough lubricant grease and could cause the switch to short-circuit, overheat and melt, causing a fire. The recall affects Toyota’s most popular vehicles with model years ranging from 2007-2011 models years.

This is not the first time that Toyota has had an issue with its power window switches. It previously recalled 2007-2009 models in the United States for a similar problem with different vehicles. There have been at least 11 reported incidents where the switch short-circuited and the switch or car door burned. One case resulted in a man’s hand being burned. Toyota will be fixing the vehicle for free of charge. Owners will be notified by first class mail if their vehicle is affected.

For more information on the recall you can contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or at www.toyota.com/recall.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective vehicle, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

NHTSA Declined to Probe Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration

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Air Bag Defect Attorney - The Cooper Firm

NHTSA Declined to Probe Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rejected a probe from an electrical engineer to investigate low-speed unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Gopal Raghavan from Thousand Oaks, California, an electrical engineer with a doctorate degree from Stanford University, filed a petition with the government safety agency requesting that they open an investigation in June of this year. Raghavan claimed that his 2009 Lexus ES350 sedan suddenly accelerated while his wife was driving, smashing them into some bushes. He also cited information from the vehicle’s data recorder, requesting that the agency look at the cars’ hardware and software. His information cited that the gas pedal was not pressed until one second before the crash, which does not make sense to him.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a document declining the probe, stating that the three crashes cited in the request are consistent with the driver mistakenly hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake. NHTSA also shared that it has already examined the issue in two previous studies. Regarding the event data recorder in Raghavan’s probe, NHTSA replied that the gas was being pumped between samples taken every second. “The petitioner’s allegations regarding the three crashes are based upon several misconceptions about the manner in which the EDR samples and records pre-crash data in the ES350, Corolla and Camry vehicles. In each of the three crashes, the vehicles accelerated as the drivers were attempting to park the vehicles. All three accelerations occurred as the vehicles were entering the intended parking spaces and in the times and positions where driver braking should be initiated to safely park the vehicles,” NHTSA said.

Sudden acceleration is not a new issue for Toyota. There have been investigations and recalls for 10 million vehicles and several lawsuits. NHTSA even penalized Toyota $1.2 billion for hiding the information. Most of the related recalls have been related to faulty brakes, sticky gas pedals and floor mats, but Toyota has denied that it has problems with the electronic throttle controls.

This is the second time this year that NHTSA has refused to open an investigation on Toyota’s unintended acceleration. Another engineer sent a similar probe in May of 2015.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a defective vehicle or due to a car accident, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Toyota and Nissan expand Takata recall to nearly 6.6 million vehicles

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Air Bag Defect Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota and Nissan expand Takata recall to nearly 6.6 million vehicles

Toyota and Nissan have issued a recall of an additional 6.56 million vehicles with defective Takata airbags.

Toyota’s recall affects 5 million vehicles across the globe including 637,000 in the United States, 1.4 million in Japan and 18,000 in Canada. The recall affects 35 different models including the Corolla, RAV4 and Tundra vehicles manufactured from March 2003 to November 2007. The recall was issued due to the fact that front passenger and driver-side airbags can deploy abnormally or rupture, which can cause greater risk or injury during a crash.

This recall is different than the original recall in which airbags would deploy with too much force sending metal shrapnel into occupants. The original recall affects ten automakers and nearly 30 million vehicles globally. Toyota decided to expand the recall after investigators uncovered moisture problems which could cause the airbags to be “susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash.”

Nissan issued a smaller recall expansion of 1.56 million vehicles globally for new Takata problem including 326,000 in North America, 563,000 in Europe and 288,000 in Japan. The recall affects the Sentra, Caravan and X-Trail models made from 2004 to 2007. Nissan will test and replace the inflators as needed.

Toyota plans on replacing the driver-side airbags with inflators made by Daicel Corporation. Toyota will still continue to use Takata even though Takata has not been able to keep up with the demand for inflators.

Honda, who has recalled the most vehicles as a result of defective Takata airbags, has not made a decision on whether or not it will expand its recall.

Takata has been fined $14,000 a day by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since February 20, for allegedly dumping documents on the agency without legally explaining what is in them. Takata is still failing to cooperate with the agency’s investigation.

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a defective airbag, call our law offices today for a free consultation.

Source: TIME

Toyota Offers Low-Cost Auto-Braking Safety Features on New Models

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota Offers Low-Cost Auto-Braking Safety Features on New Models

In effort to compete for consumer’s attention regarding safety, Toyota plans to offer safety features at a bundled rate for its Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The package includes alerts to drivers for potential collision with brake trigger, automatic high beams when there is no oncoming traffic, and lane departure warnings. An upgraded package includes alerts to drivers for potential pedestrian collisions with automatic breaking.

Several safety experts are hoping to see the equipment become standard on all vehicles, instead of up charging consumers. The packages will be sold on vehicles as soon as the end of 2016 for $300 to $500 on Toyota models and $500 to $635 on Lexus models. Toyota will sell the packages by the names “Toyota Safety Sense” and “Lexus Safety System+.”

The Toyota packages will be available on the RAV4 and Avalon as well as three additional unnamed models. The Lexus package will be available on the RX Crossover and four other models. The safety systems will use a combination of laser radar and cameras to detect surroundings of the vehicle. It will then use those technologies to alert drivers through audio and visual alerts along with automatic braking.

Systems such as automatic braking are proven to cutting damage claims from rear-end collisions by 14% according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Toyota sold more than 2.4 million vehicles in the US last year, which will allow safety technology to reach more families than before. Although anything that makes safety affordable is a good thing, safety should not be associated with an additional cost. Most of the time, new safety technology is only offered on luxury models. It can take years for safety technology to reach every day consumers.

If you or someone you know has experience personal injury as a result of a defective product or safety defect, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Source: LA Times

Toyota Recalls Vehicles Due to Power Steering Loss

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota Recalls Vehicles Due to Power Steering Loss

Toyota is recalling 110,000 vehicles due to defect that could kill power assist to the vehicle’s steering. The vehicle would be very hard to steer as a result, especially at low speeds increasing the risk of a crash. The affected vehicles include 2015 Camry, Camry hybrid, Highlander, Highlander hybrid and 2014-2015 RAV4 SUVs.

Currently, Toyota is unaware of any accidents or injuries that are a result of the defect. The company has shared that a circuit board for the electric steering may have been damaged while the vehicles were being manufactured. The unassisted manual steering would still work, but it would be very difficult to maneuver.

The company is also recalling 2,500 electric vehicles which could result in complete loss of driver power with little or no warning. The vehicles include 2012-2014 RAV4 EV battery vehicles.  The defect has the potential to unexpectedly shift the vehicle to neutral without warning. Due to a defect in the software, all driver power to the vehicle would be gone and a “Check EV System” light would trigger. The defect would make it hard for a driver to maneuver, increasing the risk of a crash.

The recalled vehicles include Toyota’s top sellers in the United States this year. The industry’s no. three top seller in February 2015 was the Toyota Camry.  Toyota plans on notifying customers by mail and will fix the vehicles at its dealerships for free.

If you have been injured as a result of a defective product or car accident, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.

Source: USA Today

The Year of Recalls: Toyota Recalls 361,800 Vehicles Globally

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Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

The Year of Recalls: Toyota Recalls 361,800 Vehicles Globally

Toyota announced that it will be recalling a combined 361,800 vehicles globally that cover three separate defects. Around 170,000 Camrys are included in the recall due to a faulty ball joint that could cause loss of control of the vehicle. The second part of the recall is for 105,800 Hiace, Regius Ace and Dyna models that need fuel pipe replacements. The third part of the recall includes 86,000 Crown and Crown Majesta models that have faulty seat belt assemblies.

Europe accounts for the majority of the recalled vehicles with about 120,000 recalled vehicles. Nearly 40,000 recalled vehicles are found in Japan. Toyota is not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the three recalls.

This combined recall, continues to add to what is being called the “year of recalls.” Toyota and seven other automakers are facing federal investigation in the United States for the use of airbags manufactured by Takata Corp. The affected airbags could erupt, especially in areas with high humidity, causing metal fragments to shoot out. There have been several injuries and deaths as a result of the defective airbags.

This year, there have been more than 56 million recalled vehicles. It is the largest amount of recalled vehicles since 1999, according Detroit Free Press.

If you or someone you know has experienced death or injury as a result of a defective vehicle or product, call our offices today for a free consultation. We have experience and knowledge in cases against some of the world’s largest companies and automakers. Contact us today at 770-427-5588.

What is a Black Box Download?

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Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

What is a Black Box Download?

With the recent GM crisis, you may have heard the term “Black Box Download” thrown around and not known what it meant. A black box is used in newer car models as an event data recorder. Car manufacturers usually use the “black box” to assess their vehicles, but it can also be very useful for attorneys, insurance companies and police after a car accident or in criminal cases.

The black box only records information a few seconds before a car accident occurs. Then another device is used to take the information recorded on the black box download off and then analyzes the information through a software program. The information extracted can show how fast the car was going, whether the driver or passengers were wearing seatbelts, if the airbags deployed and if the driver applied the brakes before the accident can be extracted.

The black box is usually about the size of two decks of cards and is in the center console. General Motors originally introduced them to help with the company’s quality studies. They are not the same across the manufacturing industry though. During the Toyota unintended acceleration, some investigators had trouble extracting the data because the boxes were different.

The information can be extremely useful in court to prove that there was a defect in the vehicle and that the driver was not at fault for the accident. It could also work against the driver to show that they were not driving safely or were not using proper safety equipment such as their seatbelts. The black box now eliminates the ‘he said, she said’ previously used in cases. Now there is hard evidence.

Source: New York Times

Toyota recalls 20,000 vehicles for possible fuel leaks

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Auto Recall Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota recalls 20,000 vehicles for possible fuel leaks

Toyota is recalling about 20,000 vehicles worldwide for possible fuel leaks. The majority of the recalled vehicles, but some were shipped to other countries. The defect is found in models with a 2GR-FE engine. The recall affects 2015 Lexus RX and 2014 models of the Avalon, Camry, Highlander and Sienna.

The problem stems from a fuel delivery pipe that may not have been welded properly by a Toyota supplier. The problem could cause the fuel to leak resulting in a fire which could cause an accident or injury. Toyota is currently not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities related to the problem.

The vehicles were produced in America besides the luxury Lexus models which were produced in Canada. Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand. Models were shipped to South Korea, Russia, Australia, Asia and some areas of the Middle East. Toyota dealerships will inspect the fuel pipe and replace it with a new one if it was produced from the specific supplier.

Toyota Informs Dealers to Stop Selling 8 Models over Fire Risk

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Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Toyota Fire Risk

Toyota Motor Corp. has informed North American dealers that they should stop selling several models that are equipped with seat heaters made after August 2012. Safety officials in South Korea have reported that the material in the part did not meet fire retardation standards in the United States. Toyota revealed that the 2013 and 2014 Camry sedan, Camry hybrid, Avalon sedan, Avalon hybrid, Corolla subcompact, Sienna minivan, and Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks that are equipped with seat heaters are all affected. A fabric supplier changed during the time they were manufactured which most likely caused the change in material.

Safety officials in the U.S. have been notified about the problem, and may decide to place a recall despite Toyota’s petition to be excused. There have been no reports of accidents, fires, or injuries related to the fire risk. In cases like this, auto makers usually request that the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) excuse them for minor deviations from the U.S. auto standards that do not affect safety. The agency calls this “inconsequential noncompliance.”

Inconsequential noncompliance was seen very recently with General Motors Co. when they filed a petition requesting that the NHTSA excuse a manufacturing defect that caused rear head restraints in some of their vehicles to move up and down more than the federal standards require. Many times, NHTSA excuses these companies if petitions are made. NHTSA has not made a decision regarding Toyota’s petition yet, but Toyota dealers have been told to stop selling affected vehicles until the part can be replaced.

Source: TireBusiness.com, “Toyota tells N.A. dealers to stop selling 8 models over fire risk,” January 31, 2014.

Toyota Recalls Sienna Minivans for Roll Away Problems

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Toyota Recalls Sienna Minivans

Toyota announced a recall for 615,000 Sienna minivans for a problem related to the gearshift lever that could cause the vehicle to roll away. The shift lever could possibly become damaged causing it move out of “Park” without the driver moving the gearshift or depressing the brake pedal.

The recall affects the Sienna minivans made in 2004-2005 and 2007-2009. There are reports of 21 accidents, mostly minor, with two injuries resulting from the defect. Toyota plans on contacting the owners of these vehicles by mail.

If you are the driver of a Toyota vehicle you can always go to www.toyota.com/recall and type in your vehicle’s identification number to see any recalls your vehicle need or which recall repairs have already been made. For more information on the use of VIN numbers and how they help consumers, visit our blog here.

If you or someone you know owns a Sienna minivan, be sure to have the repairs made to prevent possible accident or injuries from occurring.

Source: Safercar.gov


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