Only days after the announcement that Toyota will order a global recall of 437,000 Prius cars and the motor company is facing yet another problem. According to Automotive News, drivers are now citing potentially dangerous problems with the electric power steering of 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corollas.
USA Today reports that more than 80 complaints have been filed over faulty power steering. The majority of drivers are complaining that their vehicles veer to the left or right when driving over 40 miles per hour. Thus far, the problem has caused 10 accidents and six injuries, including one accident in which a woman, who was driving with her grandchildren, lost control of her vehicle and dove down a hill before hitting a fence and tree.
Drivers who have experienced this problem say it feels similar to hydroplaning or being pushed by strong winds. Automotive News reporter Neil Roland notes that after drivers try to gain control over the wheel, the vehicle “often overcorrects—requiring the driver to use a tight, persistent, two-handed grip on the wheel to travel in a straight line.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently reviewing complaints and cases concerning the power steering problem. It is also considering a formal safety investigation. No Toyotas have been recalled due to the power steering issue; however, this complaint comes after a laundry list of other problems with Toyota vehicles.
Since October, Toyota has recalled roughly 8 million cars globally due to problems with over acceleration. This recall included 12 different models. Toyota also recently announced a recall for its 2010 Prius hybrids and Lexus HS 250h vehicles, citing brake problems. Whenever a serious car accident injury or death is the result of a product defect that should have been or actually was brought to the attention of a car manufacturer like Toyota and/or its dealers, the injured driver or the family may have a valid injury or wrongful death claim.
The more manufacturer knew about the defect, and the more time the company had to recall or notify consumers, the better the argument of company neglect or fault, especially if the product defect causes a fatality or major injury. If you own or operate a vehicle that has been recalled or if you are experiencing other difficulties with your vehicle while driving, it is important that you contact your dealership and get your vehicle fixed. Doing so ensures your safety, as well as the drivers around you.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm with offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.