If you follow the automotive industry like we do here at Pribanic & Pribanic, you’ve probably noticed that industry giant Toyota USA has been in the news for a pair of recalls.
The automobile defects that spurred the Toyota safety recall are two-fold.
On October 21, Toyota announced that it was initiating a safety recall of about 6.5 million vehicles – about 2 million of those in the United States – because of a defective product: The driver’s-side power window master switch.
Here’s what Toyota said is the reason for the recall:
- The power window master switch in the affected vehicles may have been manufactured with insufficient lubricant grease.
- If not enough grease is applied, the switch may develop a short circuit that can cause the switch assembly to overheat and melt.
- A melting switch can produce smoke and potentially lead to a fire.
To be clear: Toyota recalled certain 2007-2009 model year vehicles for a similar condition recently – it should be noted that this safety recall adds vehicles not previously involved in the prior action that utilized an alternative lubricant application method.
What happens now?
- Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail
- Toyota dealers will inspect the switch and apply heat-resistant grease.
- If the switch is not operating normally, an internal circuit board will be replaced.
What vehicles are being recalled before of the defective product? The Toyota safety recall regarding that defective product affects the following vehicles:
- 2007 and 2009 Camry and Camry Hybrid
- 2009-2011 Corolla
- 2008-2011 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid
- 2009-2011 Matrix
- 2006-2011 RAV4
- 2009-2011 Sequoia
- 2009-2011 Tundra
- 2006-2010 Yaris
- 2009-2011 Scion xB
- 2009-2010 Scion xD
What has been the fallout from the defective product? In news reports, Toyota has indicated that the company is not aware of any the motor vehicle crashes being caused by the now-recalled driver’s-side power window master switches.
However, the company has indicated that it received reports of 11 instances where the switches and door trim burned – and one United States customer reported to Toyota that they suffered a hand burn because of the defective product.
Then, earlier in October, Toyota USA announced it was conducting a safety recall of about 310 model year 2016 Tacoma pickup trucks.
The problem? Some of those trucks were equipped with a driver’s knee air bag module that is attached to the instrument panel reinforcement by four bolts. There is a possibility that incorrect bolts were installed during vehicle assembly at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California plant. This could result in the bolts loosening over time, which could affect the performance of the knee air bag, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.
If you own a Toyota, it behooves you to check to ensure that your vehicle is one of those listed as being effected by one of the defective products.
Motorists need to take safety recalls of defective automobiles (or defective products therein) are for good reason – people have been seriously injured and even killed. One needs only to look toward the two latest, very high profile recalls: The Toyota recall involving unintended acceleration, and General Motors Co. for faulty ignition switches.
The personal injury attorneys know just how devastating one of those recalls was. Attorneys at the firm, filed suit against GM on behalf of the estate of James E. Yingling III – a man who was killed after the ignition switch in his car turned off, causing a crash that claimed his life. The suit is believed to be the first wrongful death or injury action filed in Pennsylvania against the automaker relating to this defective product, and is expected to go to trial early next year.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash you believe was the result of a defective automobile or a defective product in an automobile, call the Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today to schedule a free initial consultation at 412-672-5444 or toll free at 800-392-4529.