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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Does Runaway Prius Signal Possible Expansion of Toyota Recall?

It has become a sadly familiar story: a man driving a Toyota was attempting to pass another car, when his gas pedal became stuck and his vehicle accelerated wildly out of control. The problem: his car, a 2008 Prius, was not on the list of vehicles recalled for sticky accelerator pedals. In fact, the owner had taken his car into the dealer and was told it hadn't been recalled. The only recall in effect for the Prius was the removal of floor mats, something the driver insists was not the problem.

Shortly after the recall for floor mat entrapment, Toyota announced that it would also call in the affected vehicles to rework the pedal assembly and floor pan to reduce the likelihood of pedal entrapment. This issue had been sidelined as a result of new information about another possible cause for sticky accelerator pedals, prompting a new recall, one that did not include the Prius.

However, the driver's account of his ordeal makes it seem as though a Prius recall may be in order. After the man applied the gas in an attempt to pass another car, the accelerator pedal stuck in the down position and the car accelerated up to nearly 90 miles per hour on a dangerous, curvy section of Interstate 8 in California. The driver called 911 from his cell phone and operators tried to talk him through many ways to stop the car, but nothing seemed to work. The pedal remained mechanically stuck, despite the driver's attempts to pull it up.

The California Highway Patrol sent a car, whose driver instructed the man to apply his brakes and emergency brakes at the same time. This allowed the car to be slowed and shut off.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in this incident, but if you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by a defective vehicle like a Toyota undergoing runaway acceleration, the product liability lawyers at the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm are ready to help. Our nationwide network of lawyers is prepared to take on the biggest opponents. Please schedule a free initial consultation today to learn how we can help you.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:53 AM

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