November 14, 2013

Toyota_Rav4Toyota recently announced it is recalling 880,584 RAV4 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and Lexus HS 250h sedans because a previously announced repair did not fix a safety issue.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that at least nine reported crashes and three injuries are related to this defective product.

These cars can create an unreasonable risk to consumers.  If the rear wheel alignment nuts are not adequately tightened, Toyota stated that the nuts are susceptible to rust.  This rust can cause the suspension system to separate from the vehicle, which could cause loss of vehicle control and increase the risk of a dangerous crash.

Owners of Toyota RAV4 SUVs with model years from 2006 to 2011 and 2005-2010 Lexus HS250h sedans are encouraged to contact the National Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.  USA Today called the recall “highly unusual” because it’s designed to fix a problem that was not fixed properly the first time it was addressed in August 2012.

The Japanese carmaker said it is going to roll out the recall in several stages, because of the limited availability of the parts needed to fix the vehicles.  The earlier 2012 recall was initiated after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study that found more than 470 warranty claims and complaints regarding the rear suspension problem.

Toyota Hybrid recall

In addition to the RAV4 recall, Toyota announced earlier this week that it is recalling about 369,000 vehicles to address problems with cars shutting down while driving.  Highlander Hybrid model years 2006-2010 and Lexus RX 400h years 2006-2008 have product defects that can cause hybrid parts to overheat.  The Japanese carmaker recalled 242,000 Prius and Lexus HS 250h hybrids in June to address brake pad problems.  The prior fall, Toyota recalled about 350,000 Prius models due to a problematic water pump that could force the car’s hybrid system to shut down while driving the car.

At The Cochran Firm, D.C., our clients have come to us after being needlessly hurt by a wide variety of dangerous, defective, and unsafe products.  Although Toyota may not have done this, many corporations unfortunately attempt to save money by skimping on safety features.  These cost savings, which increase the company’s profits, too often put the public’s safety at risk.  Our team of experienced attorneys understands how to stand up to these corporate wrongdoers and have prevailed in many noteworthy product liability matters in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.