Posts Tagged ‘Toyota Lemon Law’

Toyota Has Yet to Formalize Buy Back Plan Under the Lemon Law

An article written by the Los Angeles Times insinuating that Toyota delayed recalls and deflected blame to human error has elicited some heated debate and an official response from Toyota. The LA Times investigation puts the death toll from unexpected, sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles at 19 since 2001. While Toyota has issued its biggest recall to address the problem, it maintains publicly that proof of a defect is yet to be validated.

In response the suggestion the Toyota has withheld important safety information from consumers, the company released a statement asserting that ‘communications with consumers about safety recalls are strictly regulated and
Toyota adheres to these regulations. Toyota has absolutely not minimized public
awareness of any defect or issue with respect to its vehicles.’

The Los Angeles Times investigation reported that some Toyota consumers have had their vehicles bought back under lemon law for unintended or sudden acceleration. But Toyota indicates that is has no buy back policy.

‘Toyota has no policy to buy back vehicles under the Lemon Law or any other
buyback program for customers complaining of unintended or sudden
acceleration. The customers to whom you refer may have interacted with Toyota dealers who on their own have always been able to deal with dissatisfied customers to preserve goodwill.’

Despite the conflicting stories on consumer buy backs, the definitive cause and scope of acceleration issues, and the final outcome of the widespread recall, Toyota has settled several lawsuits related to sudden acceleration. Beyond the acknowledgement that ‘Toyota at times has resolved and will continue
to resolve matters with litigants through confidential settlement when it is in both
parties’ interests to do so’, there is no official comment by the company as to any specifics of the agreements.

“Anyone who owns a Toyota or any other vehicle who has suffered injury or loss of the use of their vehicle from an acceleration event should check with an experienced lemon law attorney in their state to see what remedies are available,” suggests David Gorberg, New Jersey and Pennsylvania lemon law attorney and founding partner of a lemon law firm. “The lemon laws are very different in every state, and these state guidelines determine the eligibility for compensation for each consumer.”

Some states have increased consumer lemon law protections. New Jersey’s Lemon Law, revised in October 2009, now allows a vehicle to be decalred a lemon after a single potentially harmful event. In New Jersey, car dealers are only granted ‘ one attempt to correct the defect if the defect is one that is likely to
cause death or serious bodily injury if the vehicle is driven’.

While Toyota has taken some steps in terms of consumer notification and recalling vehicles, it is clear that the company has a distance to go to ease consumer concerns about the harmful potential of defects related to unexpected acceleration.

The Lemon Law Attorneys at David J. Gorberg & Associates have arbitrated, settled and litigated thousands of lemon law claims throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, recovering millions of dollars for their clients. More information at www.mylemon.com or by calling 1-800-MyLemon.

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.