The popular automaker Toyota is the subject of another massive recall. Last week the automaker recalled 670,000 older Prius hybrids in the U.S. for potentially defective steering, with about 350,000 of those same Priuses also recalled for water pumps that could cause the cars to stall. The two recalls are part of a larger global recall that encompasses almost 2.8 million vehicles.
According to this USA Today, article, the U.S. recalls cover all second-generation Priuses – those built from August 2003 through March 30, 2009 – but not the latest version of the Prius.
Although Toyota has said that it has received reports of accidents or injuries due to the Prius problems, the recalls are a major blow to the image of Toyota, particularly since Toyota has been the subject of a number of high profile recalls in the past few years. This most recent recall comes just a month after Toyota recalled 7.4 million cars globally – including 2.5 million in the U.S. – for power-window switches that could catch fire if incorrectly lubricated. Since 2009, Toyota has had to recall 12.4 million cars globally – 10.2 million in the U.S. – for sticky gas pedals and floor mats that could jam accelerators.
According to Brian Lyons, Toyota’s spokesman for safety issues in the U.S, in this USA Today article, the steering problem “is a design-related issue – insufficient hardness on the specification.”
There are three types of defects that may be claimed in a product liability case. These include design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Design defects, like those involved in the recent Toyota recall, are due to a flaw in the intentional design of a product that makes the product dangerous or defective. Product liability lawsuits involving design defects often require the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was negligent, but in some cases, strict liability is imposed if there was a cost-effective alternate design that would have prevented the risks.
If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of a defective vehicle, you may also wish to consult with an attorney. The Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products, including defective vehicles. Contact one of our skilled Chicago personal injury and product liability attorneys at (312) 600-0000 if you would like more information on recalled vehicles.