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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Toyota Faces New Defective Vehicle Probe

Toyota Corp. is facing another federal investigation, and potentially another huge fine, over defective vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is looking into steering linkage failures that it says could cause loss of control and accidents in nearly 1 million Toyota pickups built between 1989 and 1998. The federal agency says the defect has resulted in 16 crashes, three deaths, and seven injuries.

Toyota recalled the Japanese models in 2004, but did not issue a recall in the United States until 2005, according to a news report. In a 2004 letter to NHTSA, Toyota said the problem did not affect U.S. vehicles, though the same parts were used in both countries. The models involved include pickups, T100s, and 4Runner SUVs.

Federal law requires that NHTSA be notified of a safety defect in U.S. vehicles within five business days. Toyota said it did inform the agency within five days as required, and pledged to cooperate with the investigation. The news report said that Toyota has received 52 complaints about the linkage problem from U.S. consumers.

In April, Toyota agreed to pay a record $16.4 million fine for its handling of a problem with sticking gas pedals.

The risk of personal injury from any kind of defective product is cause for concern. Where motor vehicles are concerned, not only the user can be injured or killed. This risk makes it necessary that manufacturers exercise all possible care.

At The Cochran Firm, we want your safety to be the chief concern of all manufacturers. When their failure to do so causes injury or death, we will fight for you in court. If you think you need legal assistance, please contact our experienced personal-injury lawyers for a confidential consultation at any of our nationwide offices.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 11:24 AM

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