Telephone: 1-850-316-8101 | Toll Free: 1-888-863-6058
The maker of Lexus and Toyota vehicles has issued a recall for nearly 4 million of its vehicles following reports involving floor mats interfering with the accelerator pedal and causing the gas/accelerator pedal to become stuck in the full open position. Floor mats in the vehicles are causing the accelerator to become stuck, or forced-down, creating an extremely hazardous and potentially fatal situation.
This is an extremely "urgent matter" according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Owners are being told not to put the mats back in the vehicles. "A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death," said Toyota in its statement.
A California Highway Patrol officer and his family were killed in a recent crash which was potentially caused by the gas pedal sticking open.
Toyota faced this same problem a few years ago. The company recalled the floor mats in 2007, but the recall apparently was not effective at warning the public of the dangerous situation caused by the floor mats. Reports continued to be received of vehicles accelerating rapidly and uncontrollably even after the release of the accelerator pedal.
Until Toyota develops a remedy for this dangerous condition, it is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver's floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat. Models affected by the recall include:
Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions if it is determined that the floor mat is interfering with the accelerator:
- If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle;
- Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine. If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost;
- If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button;
- If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.
If you one were involved in a crash or accident as a result of Toyota floor mats or Lexus floor mats, please contact our Toyota floor mat lawyers or call our office toll free at 1-888-863-6058.
Manufacturers are required to take comprehensive measures to ensure that their products are safe for their intended uses. Failure to disclose any defects associated with a product is grounds for legal action. Manufacturers, however, do not protect your legal rights when you are severely injured. Click on the links below to read more about defective products in the news:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING MEDICAL DEVICES AND YOUR LOSS OF RIGHTS AGAINST THE MANUFACTURERS OF DEFECTIVE MEDICAL DEVICES
While technology has greatly advanced and saved lives, so has the potential for catastrophic injuries from the use of a medical device that is defective in either its design or manufacture. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court has virtually wiped out consumers' rights against companies that manufacture defective medical devices. The Court held that under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (MDA), if a medical device is approved by the FDA, there is no liability for the injuries caused by the defective device under state laws if the medical device had undergone the Food and Drug Administration's pre-market approval process. One member of the Court disagreed--Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent that she doubted Congress meant to foreclose consumers injured by FDA-approved devices that "nevertheless prove unsafe. . .[t]he MDA's failure to create any federal compensatory remedy for such consumers further suggests that Congress did not intend broadly to preempt [do away with] state common-law suits grounded on allegations independent of FDA requirements."
An expert testifying before a congressional committee noted that when the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act was passed, medical devices, for the most part, were simple instruments such as stethoscopes and scalpels in which defects would be readily apparent. The technology boom after World War II greatly increased the number and complexity of medical devices. The complexity and use of medical devices have increased exponentially over the past 50 years. As diverse as medical devices are, so are the range and complexity of problems that can arise from their use. These problems include mechanical failure, faulty design, poor manufacturing quality and adverse effects of materials implanted in the body.
It is evident from the FDA annual lists of Safety Alerts that failure of medical devices is not uncommon. Yet consumer protection is once again deemed secondary to the profits of manufacturers. The proposed Medical Device Safety Act of 2009 (MDSA), legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), explicitly clarifies that state product liability lawsuits are preserved, thus protecting the rights of consumers injured by dangerous and defective devices. It is important that you contact your legislators to voice your support for the MDSA of 2009.
supporting/endorsing the MDSA of 2009.
If you or someone you loved were injured as a result of a defective medical device, please contact us online or call our consumer protection lawyers at 1-888-863-6058 as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Our firm is investigating claims of consumer fraud and deceptive and unfair trade practices by certain lawn care companies. If you paid for a company to provide lawn care services such as weed control, fertilizer and pest control, and paid additionalmoney for aeration or dethatching, please contact us online or call one of our consumer protection lawyers at 1-888-863-6058.
Our defective product lawyers are investigating a potential defect in certain Honda lawn mowers. If you own a 2004-2007 Honda lawn mower, please contact us online or call one of our defective product lawyers at 1-888-863-6058.
Evers & Preston, PL
609 West Chase Street
Pensacola, FL 32502-4711
Telephone: 1-850-316-8101 | Toll Free: 1-888-863-6058
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