2 Million Toyotas Recalled: Now Sudden Deceleration, Not Acceleration Danger
February 13th, 2014
Toyota recalled close to 1.9 million vehicles in February of 2014 because of a glitch in the software that controls advanced breaking and acceleration features in late Prius, Tacoma, Rav 4, and Lexus models. The recall comes just two months after Toyota lost its first sudden acceleration personal injury lawsuit in December of 2013; these sudden acceleration suits involve Toyota cars and trucks recalled between 2009 and 2010. This time the vehicles aren’t suddenly accelerating on their own, they’re coming to a complete stop unexpectedly instead.
Hazardous Loss of Speed Control While Driving
When a vehicle accelerations suddenly without warning, the safety hazard is obvious. When a driver loses the ability to accelerate and control the rate of deceleration while driving on the road, the potential for a serious car accident is less likely but still a clear danger. Millions can currently be injured in car accidents that are not their fault because of the software glitch in these recalled Toyota models.
List of Models in Toyota’s 2014 Recall
- 2010 Toyota Prius
- 2011 Toyota Prius
- 2012 Toyota Prius
- 2013 Toyota Prius
- 2014 Toyota Prius
- 2012 Toyota Rav 4
- 2012 Toyota Tacoma Trucks
- 2013 Toyota Tacoma Trucks
- 2012 Lexus RS 350 SUV Hybrid
Toyota Recall Also Includes Lexus Model
The recall includes 2010 to 2014 Prius models, 713,000 of which are currently in North America. In addition to the Prius model, Toyota is also issuing a recall for Toyota Tacoma trucks manufactured in 2012 and 2013; the 2012 Lexus RS 350 SUV hybrid; and the 2012 Toyota Rav 4 models. As Lexus owners may not be aware that their vehicles are included in the recall, please share the RS 350 SUV recall notice with owners of this particular model.
The aforementioned Toyota and Lexus vehicles have faulty electric circuits that could shut off, causing the vehicle to shut off unexpectedly and come to a complete stop while being driven. Toyota was quick to also mention that the software glitch will not hinder the vehicle’s main braking system to stop if engaged. These vehicles require a software update to fix the problem, a relatively new phenomenon in car recalls as automakers continue to include more computer-driven mechanisms in cars.
In December of 2013 Jean Bookout (driver at the time of the car accident) and the family of Barbara Schwartz won a $1.5 million settlement each, the first victorious injury lawsuit against Toyota for the sudden acceleration glitch causing that fatal 2005 crash. Dean Beasley of the Beasley Law Firm represented both plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Beasley told the media that the successful trial outcome proves Toyota covered up the sudden acceleration reports from consumers.
Court Victory for Victims Has Toyota in the Hot Seat
This ground breaking case victory for the injured driver and the family of her deceased passenger is the first win involving victims of faulty electronic throttle control system in Toyota’s 2009 & 2010 recalled automobiles. However there are countless pending injury lawsuits across the United States alleging negligence on Toyota’s part by people injured in sudden acceleration car accidents in addition to surviving families of fatal collisions victims.
In July of 2013 Toyota paid out a $1.6 Billion dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit for the financial losses incurred by owners of the 2009 and 2010 recall. Part of the settlement required Toyota to install safety mechanisms in 3.2 million vehicles encompassing models of sudden acceleration claims.
Car Maker Facing Years of Litigation
The lawsuits of injured car accidents victims against Toyota will continue to play out over the coming years. The Japanese carmaker is now moving to pay out settlements for injury and class action lawsuits swiftly before their reputation is further soiled. Although the current sudden deceleration fault may not seem quite as dangerous as the sudden acceleration glitch on the surface, the sudden loss of acceleration and control of a vehicle’s speed could cause major safety hazards in certain conditions.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.