South Carolina is among 29 states to receive $1 million each under the terms of  a settlement resulting from Toyota’s safety recalls. The car manufacturer was accused of failing to notify customers promptly about the safety problems in its automobiles.

State attorneys general filed suit against Toyota in 2010 after the company recalled 14 million automobiles around the world due to an acceleration issue. The lawsuit claimed that Toyota did not let customers know that certain vehicles would speed up without warning.

An investigation concluded that the company’s Japan headquarters and its operations in the United States did not communicate well with each other. This communication gap is seen as a key factor in customers not receiving timely notice of the safety problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began looking into sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles in 2003. As a result of Toyota’s own internal investigation, the company concluded that sticky gas pedals, flawed floor mats and driver error were to blame for the acceleration problem.

How Toyota Plans to Address Future Issues

In addition to making payments to the states, Toyota will post owners’ manuals online, making updated information more accessible to customers.

It also has agreed to enlarge its rapid response teams to make sure safety complaints from customers are handled within 24 hours. Approximately 200 technical experts make up these teams throughout Toyota’s North American locations.

Furthermore, Toyota plans to pay back consumers for expenses related to this recall. Rental cars or taxi rides during car repairs are included in the reimbursement offer.

Need Legal Help?

Our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are ready to fight for your rights if you or someone you love is the victim of an automobile crash. For a free consultation, call us at (888) 324-3100 or fill out our convenient online form today.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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