Toyota just announced a major recall of more than 1 million vehicles in the United States. The notice released by the automaker said that the company would be recalling more than 750,000 Corolla’s and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S. that were made between 2001 and 2004. Tens of thousands more vehicles would be recalled around the world. The problem is that the air bags can sometimes fail to properly inflate.
Toyota also announced a second recall, this time affecting the Lexus brand. More than a quarter of a million Lexus IS cars built between 2006 and 2012 are being recalled due to loose screws in the windshield wipers.
Though Toyota has long maintained a good reputation for building quality cars, that image has taken a beating in recent years. Several massive recalls, notably one affecting gas pedals and floor mats, have damaged the brand.
Between the two recalls, the problems with the Corollas are much more serious. Toyota has said that the airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system may have been manufactured with faulty circuit boards. If that’s true, then shorts in the system are possible, which could inadvertently deploy the airbags or seat belt pretensioners even if there has not been an accident.
Toyota has said that two crashes have been reported in the U.S. related to the air bag problem. Beyond car accidents, there have been 18 reported cases of abrasion injuries when the airbags deployed unintentionally. Toyota received a total of 46 complaints concerning the Corolla and 25 complaints regarding the windshield wipers on the Lexus.
Owners of all the affected models will receive a letter telling them to bring their vehicles into dealers for repairs.
The Virginia Injury Attorney’s Perspective:
Though it’s always good when a company like Toyota takes the step of warning drivers of possible dangers, the recall raises important questions about why the company allowed poorly designed and manufactured vehicles onto roads to begin with. Also, if reports of airbag problems in the Corolla have been around for years, why did it take so long for Toyota to take action to resolve the problem?
Attorneys with our Virginia (VA) personal injury law firm have helped several victims of dangerous and defective products recover damages from companies whose negligence or disregard for consumer safety led to injuries. Contact us if this or any other recalled product has jeopardized your safety.
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