Safety regulators are in the deciding stages of whether to investigate a recent complaint that the Toyota Prius steering has a serious design defect. The vehicles in question are about 561,000 Toyota Prius’ from 2004 through 2009. An auto-testing lab is requesting that the national auto safety regulators look further into this potential problem. The reason that the safety regulation department has not definitely decided whether or not to launch an investigation into the complaint is that at this time the particular problem has only been linked to one consumer’s complaint. The reason the lab feels that it is crucial to further investigate is that the problem complained of is different, but involves similar parts, to those affected in a recall of Toyota Prius models from the same years last November.
According to Fox News, the lab tested the vehicle that the consumer complained of and believes that the upper steering shaft of the vehicle was not properly installed which caused the metal to fail. While it is unclear if the defect is a large scale problem, the lab is calling for an investigation because of how dangerous this defect could be if it malfunctioned while the vehicle was traveling at high speeds.
Toyota has recently faced a lot of safety issues with their vehicles and recalled many vehicles and have been involved in many lawsuits and settlements with owners of their vehicles. With the recalls alone, Toyota has paid out over one billion dollars in recent years. Following a 14 million vehicle recall in November 2010 in which it was found that the vehicles had been accelerating without warning, the United States Government sued Toyota for failing to let customers know of the problem immediately upon discovery.
It is not uncommon that companies realize that a product they sold has a defect that could be dangerous to consumers, however it is crucial that as soon as a company realizes that their product could lead to personal injury to the consumer that the company do everything they can to make sure the public is made aware right away.
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident while operating a car that was later recalled or that you believe may have been caused by a design defect in the car, please contact our Illinois car accident attorneys today to discuss what legal options may be available to you.