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Toyota announces recall

Owners of Toyota vehicles in Iowa may soon receive notice of the company's recall of at least 295,000 Lexus and Toyota vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the move by Toyota Motor Corp is in response to possible brake actuator defects in vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013. Those vehicles affected include around 109,000 Toyota Tacoma pickups, 57,000 Lexus RX350 crossovers, and 120,000 Toyota RAV4 SUVs. This recall follows another for 1.9 million Prius cars that Toyota announced earlier this week.

Although it is not believed that there have been any car accidents to date, sources say that the error has the potential to cause losses of vehicular control that could prove quite dangerous. The NHTSA says that the problem involves electric components in the aforementioned brake actuators experiencing greater resistance than they were designed for. This could cause the vehicle to lose traction and become unresponsive to driver input. In order to remedy the issue, Toyota and Lexus dealerships will need to patch the electrical component software in affected models.

Many car accidents involve negligence on the part of one or more motorists on the roadway, but as this case illustrates, some can be wholly or partially caused by manufacturing flaws. When that happens, the company that built the car may be held liable for any and all injuries and damages involved parties suffer as a consequence. If a driver of one of the affected vehicles loses traction and crashes as a result, he or she could be seriously injured and justifiably require that their medical expenses and associated costs, including lost income and damage to property, be appropriately compensated.

While such errors are often unintentionally produced, automobile companies have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products for consumers. It may be necessary to review recent accidents involving those vehicles affected by the recall to determine if the manufacturing error in question may have played a role.

Source: Reuters, "Toyota recalls about 295,000 vehicles globally for electrical fault", February 14, 2014

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