It is said that with great power comes great responsibility. One major player in the auto industry recently learned that lesson after settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit that spanned 29 states out of court. The suit, in which Illinois was included, was filed on account of a serious manufacturing flaw in the company’s models and a subsequent failure to facilitate a recall in a comprehensive and expedient manner.
Toyota, which has seen its popularity with drivers and power in the worldwide automobile market steadily climb in recent years, settled the aforementioned suit for $29 million late last week. The manufacturing flaw at the heart of the matter centered upon a “sticky” gas pedal that, beginning in 2010, gave rise to numerous car and truck accidents across the nation as drivers lost the ability to stop their own vehicles.
Many of these collisions proved injurious and, in some tragic cases, deadly. Toyota has since 2010 paid out over $1 billion in various settlements to personal injury and wrongful death claims tied to the gas pedal flaw; the lawsuit mentioned above centered instead upon the company’s failure to recall the 14 million affected vehicles with a speed consummate to the dangers involved.
Federal investigations have revealed that communication between Toyota’s Japan headquarters, its U.S. operations, and its customer base was slow and irresponsibly haphazard throughout the recall process.
In addition to the $29 million sum that will be divided amongst the states involved in the suit, Toyota has consented to placing vehicle users’ manuals online in order to make driver information more readily accessible. The company also agreed to overhaul its system of response to reported safety issues, promising to increase the rapidity of its oversight.
With intoxication, recklessness, and distractions still a serious issue on America’s roadways, few people stop to consider their own cars as the potential cause of a future accident. However, this and other recalls have proven that when manufacturers are careless in their design and construction, the results can prove tragic for even the most careful of drivers.
There are, however, legal options for attaining compensation and keeping those at fault responsible for their negligence. Working with an attorney in the wake of an auto accident can better illuminate these options.
Source: Huffington Post, “Toyota pays $29M to states to settle safety suit,” De-Ann Durbin, Feb. 14, 2013
The poor decision-making that leads to an auto accident can fall upon a wide variety of parties. For information on how to attain compensation for another’s negligence, please contact our Naperville motorcycle accident page.