Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toyota accused of failing to recall vehicles with deadly defects, hide evidence from courts

A recent Los Angeles Times article accuses Toyota of failing to take proper action to remedy a dangerous defect in Toyota and Lexis Vehicles. The article notes that Toyota's own tests revealed, in 2003, that a plastic panel could detach from its vehicles causing unexpected acceleration. It is believed that this defect led to crashes that caused at least 19 deaths since 2001.

Although Toyota redesigned the component on its 2004 vehicles, it did not take any action to recall the vehicles known to be defective or to inform buyers of these vehicles of the defect. The Times investigation also turned up other instances of delayed reporting of defects on Toyota vehicles.

Perhaps most significant are recent accusations by a former Toyota attorney, who accuses the automaker of engaging in a "calculated conspiracy to prevent the disclosure of damaging evidence" as part of a scheme to "prevent evidence of its vehicles' structural shortcomings from becoming known" to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, to courts, and to the general public.

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