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Toyota Accused of Playing Down Toyota Defects in Safety

By Minara El-Rahman on December 28, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It seems that Toyota has a lot more motor safety issues to worry about besides the current recalls. We wrote previously about the recent recalls over sudden acceleration. The Los Angeles Times reports that the carmaker has a history of tamping down its motor safety issues. Toyota defects such as sudden acceleration have been played down by the company as human errors. Toyota recalls have been delayed until fatalities build up to a point that Toyota can not ignore.

Here are some of the key points that the Los Angeles Times made about Toyota's handling over Toyota defects in motor safety:

  • Toyota waited to recall the Rav4 even though it was forced to recall the vehicle the year before in Japan back in 2004.
  • The sudden acceleration issue has plagued the company since 2000, but it has only recently gotten news coverage because of the number of fatalities which is more than any other carmaker.
  • A former lawyer for Toyota named Dimitrios Biller has filed a lawsuit claiming that it engaged in a "calculated conspiracy to prevent the disclosure of damaging evidence" about its motor safety defects.

Toyota has called all of these claims "inaccurate" and "misleading." However, Toyota cannot refute the number of recalls that it has had. There have also been times where Toyota has failed to provide requested evidence during trials. For example, the Los Angeles Times reports that in 2000, a Missouri judge sanctioned Toyota after it failed to disclose results of five rear-impact tests of Corollas "despite numerous discovery requests." The judge ordered a new trial as a result of this.

It remains to be seen just how many new cases will reopen because of the carmaker's failure to disclose. Stay tuned for more information about Toyota.

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