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Toyota Owners Log More Complaints with NHTSA

Feb 16, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

NEWS UPDATE: FOX Business News, Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 - Toyota Faces Class-Action Lawsuits (Click here to view video)

NEWS UPDATE: Washington Post, Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 - Toyota hit by new surge of reported fatalities in vehicles (Click to view page)

Consumers have filed more complaints regarding Toyota vehicles with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) since the automaker recalled millions of cars over speed control and braking problems.

As of January 2010, crashes involving Toyota or Lexus vehicles and sudden acceleration had allegedly resulted in 21 deaths between 2000 and the end of 2009.  But since Toyota recalled millions of vehicles in January to fix faulty accelerator pedals, the number of fatality complaints allegedly associated with the sudden acceleration of a Toyota vehicle since 2000 have risen to 34. Since the January recall, consumers have reported nine crashes involving 13 alleged deaths between 2005 and 2010 due to accelerator problem to the NHTSA database. Since January 27, the NHTSA has processed 686 complaints from consumers about problems related to speed control involving Toyota-manufactured vehicles, the Associated Press said.

Toyota's recalls started in September, when the automaker announced it was recalling and replacing floor mats on approximately 4.2 million vehicles which were allegedly causing accelerator pedals in the vehicles to become stuck in the depressed position, leading to uncontrollable and rapid acceleration of the vehicle. On January 21, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles due to accelerator pedals on those vehicles becoming stuck in a depressed position, causing unexpected and unsafe acceleration.

Last Tuesday, Toyota recalled 400,000 hybrid vehicles, including the 2010 Prius and the Lexus HS250h, to fix their breaks. The hybrid recall came after the NHTSA announced that it had opened an investigation into the 2010 Prius relating to reports of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump. The NHTSA said it had received 124 reports from consumers, including four reports alleging that crashes occurred.

In the past week, complaints to the NHTSA database involving the Prius grew by almost 1,000. Through February 11, the Associated Press says the database has received a total of 1,120 complaints alleging 34 crashes, six injuries and no deaths.

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