Archive for January, 2009

Toyota Details Plan to Comply with Lemon Law Requirements to Fix Acceleration Defect

Toyota has announced the list of vehicles involved in its largest recall ever recall for a safety defect causing unexpected acceleration attributed to floor mat jamming. The recall affects the 2007 to 2010 MY (model year) Camry, 2005 to 2010 MY Avalon, 2004 to 2009 MY Prius, 2005 to 2010 MY Tacoma, 2007 to 2010 MY Tundra, 2007 to 2010 MY ES350, 2006 to 2010 MY IS250, and 2006 to 2010 MY IS 350.

In their announcement, Toyota describes the proposed remedies as follows:
1. The shape of the accelerator pedal will be reconfigured to address the risk of floor mat entrapment, even when an older-design all-weather floor mat or other inappropriate floor mat is improperly attached, or is placed on top of another floor mat. For the ES350, Camry, and Avalon models involved, the shape of the floor surface underneath will also be reconfigured to increase the space between the accelerator pedal and the floor.

2. Vehicles with any genuine Toyota or Lexus accessory all-weather floor mat will be provided with newly-designed replacement driver- and front passenger-side all-weather floor mats.

An additional change includes the installation of a braking system that will cut power to the engine and override the acceleration if the accelerator and brake are pressed simultaneously in the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350, IS350, and IS 250.

As required by the consumer lemon laws, Toyota will remedy the problem and begin sending out safety notifications and recall instructions to vehicle owners and dealerships. The first of these mailings commenced on October 30. Dealerships will receive the required training and be ready to modify existing brake pedals in early 2010. As new pedals are manufactured with a modified shape, owners will have the option of getting new pedals installed in their vehicles. The braking override will become standard equipment throughout all Toyota product lines starting in January 2010.

“Toyota needs to take swift action to address these serious safety defects,” says lemon law attorney David Gorberg. “Everyone is put at risk with any delay in taking the appropriate steps to remedy problems relating to the steering or braking of a vehicle.”

Owners with questions about the recall are asked to visit www.toyota.com or www.lexus.com or contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Assistance at 1-800-255-3987.

“Vehicle owners are entitled to have these issues fixed by the manufacturer under the lemon law. Toyota is wise to do so in the interest of customer safety and loyalty. Any owners of the vehicles on Toyota’s recall list should schedule repairs at their earliest convenience to prevent any potential injuries, ” recommends Gorberg.

For owners of vehicles who have already suffered an accident or a loss of use of their vehicle due to a safety defect, recourse may be available under state lemon law guidelines.