Last year, Toyota drivers in Baltimore County, Maryland and around the country had reason to be concerned. The auto manufacturer that built its reputation on safety and reliability was involved in one of the most massive worldwide consumer safety recalls in history of some 8 million vehicles.
The safety recalls occurred after reports of fatal auto accidents involving “runaway Toyotas” — that is, cars that couldn’t be stopped from accelerating out of control. Drivers reported sticking gas pedals that were slow to rise when foot pressure was removed, and cars that failed to decelerate despite the drivers releasing the gas and leaning hard on the brakes.
The car accidents that prompted the recalls and a subsequent government investigation occurred over a number of years, involving different models of Toyotas. Now U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has released a report on the investigation regarding Toyota’s problems.
The DOT’s investigation, conducted by NASA scientists, revealed that the deadly Toyota car accidents were due to floor mats entrapping the gas pedals and “sticky gas pedals” — mechanical problems but not electrical problems, as some consumers thought. They also believe operator error may have played a part in some cases where cars were reported to have malfunctioned.
Baltimore County wrongful death attorneys may work with families who lose a loved one in a Maryland car accident. Experienced MD injury lawyers know the laws that relate to liability and negligence, whether on the part of auto manufacturers and/or other drivers.
In the wake of the Toyota recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling for a new industry standard that would create a brake override system. NHTSA also wants faulty gas and brake pedal designs to be fixed, as well as reliability and security of electronic control systems to be studied further.
Related Maryland Injury Attorney Blog Article:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RELEASES RESULTS FROM NHTSA-NASA STUDY OF UNINTENDED ACCELERATION IN TOYOTA VEHICLES
US DOT Feb. 8, 2011
Toyota Recalls Due to Mechanical Flaws
The Street Feb. 8, 2011
Transportation Secretary: Electronic Issue Not Cause of Toyota Recall Woes
PBS.org Feb. 8, 2011