Posts Tagged ‘lemon law recall’

Can Toyota Recall Stave Off Future Lemon Law Claims?

Toyota has taken proactive measures to address safety concerns with a poor combination of floor mats and pedal position causing problems with braking and acceleration. The voluntary recall has been issued by the manufacturer across many models, including the Prius, Camry, Avalon, Tacoma, and Tundra. Reports of sudden acceleration possibly resulting from complications of floor mat jamming have prompted Toyota to issue its most widespread recall ever. A Tennessee family filed a $10 million lawsuit against Toyota from the death of Dustin Ricardo after his 2007 Toyota Camry crashed into a tree from sudden unexpected acceleration. Toyota has issued a floor mat advisory describing the issue.

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to force recalls of safety-related defects, but in this case, Toyota has taken the initiative to issue the recalls voluntarily. Differences between Toyota’s and NHTSA perspective on the cause of the defect remain in dispute. Lemon law requires manufacturers to offer a replacement vehicle or refund for defects that significantly impair use, value, or safety of a vehicle. Lemon law claims are constrained by mileage and time limits that differ from state to state. New Jersey’s lemon law allows cars to be classified as lemons after a single failure of a critical safety function such as steering or braking. Pennsylvania’s lemon law requires three repair attempts.

Toyota dealers are still waiting for the complete list of vehicles and VIN numbers affected by the recall and are expecting this information within the next week. Toyota is responsible for notifying dealerships and owners of eligible vehicles and footing the bill for repairs. Owners who have had defects repaired already may qualify for reimbursement.

Toyota needs to address these safety concerns as swiftly and comprehensively as possible. These types of safety defects warrant compensation under the lemon law, and it’s in the best interest of Toyota’s ongoing relationship with their customers to address these issues head on. Any owners of vehicles on Toyota’s recall list should schedule repairs at their earliest convenience.

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.

Lemon laws can vary greatly from state to state. Anyone affected by a vehicle safety defect should contact a qualified attorney who is experienced handling lemon law cases within the same state that the owner resides in. Safety issues with any vehicle need to be taken seriously. Many lemon law firms offer free lemon law case evaluations and get paid directly from the manufacturer so there is no cost to the vehicle owner.