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Potential Liability Issues With Popular Toyota Models

It is not news to anyone that purchasing a car is a major financial decision, one that comes with weighing a lot of options and costs between different models and balancing what we need in a vehicle versus new options available in modern models. Purchasing a car often takes a lot of research into which one will get you the most value for your money, which one has been rated the highest for consumer satisfaction, which one is most durable, and most importantly which one is safest for you and your passengers.

When a company puts a car, or any other product, into the marketplace they are guaranteeing in an implied warranty of merchantability that the car is safe to driver. As described by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, under the Uniform Commercial Code, Article 2, Part 3, goods must pass without objection in the trade and must be fit for the ordinary purposes for which they are used. To elaborate, where a company fails to properly inspect a product or fails to warn consumers of known defects, the company can be held legally liable in a products liability lawsuit for consumer injuries. The court reasons that a consumer purchased a product relying on the fact that it should have been safe for ordinary use and used the product unknowing of the dangers it could cause. For this reason, consumers who are injured from such products can receive compensatory damages for their suffering, injuries, and financial losses.

One luxury feature in modern cars that is now cause for concern is the option for heated seats. This option is popular in the greater Chicago area as our winters are extremely cold in the Midwest, especially the current one where the polar vortex has given us bone-chilling below zero temperatures. However, according to one article by Global News, some consumers may be facing a danger from their car seat heaters and be completely unaware of it. The Toyota Motor Corp. is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine the need for a potential recall of several models sold in the United States and Canada. There is allegedly a problem with the combination of the seat fabric and models with seat heaters, because the company is unsure of whether the fabric meets flammability standards. This is a significant issue because if the fabric is in fact easily or even potentially flammable, consumers are driving cars completely naïve to the fact they are literally sitting on a moving fire hazard.

This recall would include the top-selling Camry model, which is noteworthy because being a popular car, many people own this vehicle, are currently facing the potential dangers, and would be affected by the recall. All models affected in this recall include the Camry, Camry hybrid, Avalon sedan, Avalon hybrid, Corolla subcompact, Sienna minivan, Tundra, and Tacoma trucks sold since August 2012 when the fabric supplier was changed. Toyota has already halted sales of any problem vehicles.

Our lawyers were pleased to see that Toyota is taking a proactive approach to protect the safety of its customers and we hope that these actions can prevent drivers from suffering burns or other injuries as a result of this apparent design defect. We believe in upholding an honest marketplace where consumers can buy goods without fearing that the product poses dangers for serious personal injuries. We also stand by the belief that when manufacturers fail to uphold their duty to produce and sell safe products, they should be held accountable through product liability lawsuits. Our firm has represented clients in actions against negligent manufacturers for over 20 years and may be able to help you if you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective product.