Uncontrolled Acceleration in Vehicles
Uncontrolled acceleration is also described as "unexplained acceleration" and "sudden acceleration." It may be described as a situation in which a vehicle speeds up or moves ahead without any action on the part of the driver. Many auto safety experts believe that a majority of uncontrolled acceleration cases go unreported. Part of the reason for these may be that many of these accelerations occur when the car is already moving along at a reasonably high speed. A large number of accidents in recent years have been linked to unexplained acceleration of a vehicle.
If you were driving your vehicle when it suddenly accelerated for no apparent reason and an accident occurred, you may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer. With a product liability lawsuit, you may be able to recover financial compensation that will cover medical bills, as well as future medical care, lost earnings, loss of potential earnings and even emotional trauma. The auto product liability attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP can provide knowledgeable insight and aggressive legal representation for a claim involving acceleration defects.
Injuries Caused by Sudden, Unexplained Acceleration
Sudden acceleration can lead to a serious accident when a motorist is unable to control the car due to such revving of the engine. The resulting injuries can be serious. As modern vehicles come with more sophisticated features, the possibility that these high-tech systems conceal defects, especially in software controls, is a real one. Unfortunately, auto manufacturers are constantly focusing their energies on creating the next super car that will change the future of the industry, and introducing it as quickly as possible into the American market, without testing it properly.
Auto Makers Deny Reports of Uncontrolled Acceleration
Toyota's line of 2006 and 2007 Tacoma pick up models has been the subject of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over reports of uncontrolled acceleration. It was the fourth such sudden acceleration-related probe into Toyota vehicles in a span of 3 years. Drivers have complained of the engine revving up when the brakes were applied, leading to a potentially disastrous accident.
Another Toyota vehicle, the Prius Hybrid, has generated hundreds of complaints over uncontrolled acceleration. The company has recalled the vehicles and conducted an examination of their electronic software, but these investigations have proved inconclusive. In such cases, accidents have been avoided entirely because drivers have been able to control the vehicle and prevent a crash. Meanwhile, complaints of uncontrolled acceleration with the Prius continue to come in. Ford also recalled its Ranger models after throttle defects lead to sudden acceleration.
Despite charges from several consumer safety experts, auto manufacturers refuse to admit any mechanical defect in the vehicle was responsible for the unexpected acceleration. They blamed drivers instead, choosing to present the problem as one that is imagined, not real. Auto safety advocates argue that a problem that is the product of a motorist's imagination would likely be found across all models of cars, rather than restricted to a few. Manufacturers are at a loss as to why such reports of uncontrolled acceleration are so restricted.
Lexus Floor Mat Recall: Acceleration Malfunctions
Lexus has recently announced even more recalls for their Lexus and Toyota models because of floor mat defects that are causing unwarranted acceleration. According to accident reports, the floor mat in some of the company's models was entrapping the accelerator pedal. Those whose vehicles are affected by the recall are asked to take their vehicle in immediately. If this is experienced while driving, drivers should put on the breaks, but their car into neutral and then pull over. Lexus has issued a recall of approximately 131,800 2010 RX350s and 22,200 2010 RX450h vehicles. Until more can be done to remedy the problem, Lexus encourages drivers to remove the driver's side floor mat.
Defect Information Report
Because Lexus was getting an overwhelming amount of complaints relating to this acceleration issue, they filed a defect information report (DIR) with the NHTSA. Vehicles that were also affected are some 2006 and 2007 models of the GS 300 and GS 350 because of the same issue. The plastic pad beneath the driver's side carpet was interfering with the accelerator pedal and causing it to be stuck in the accelerated position. The voluntary recall also affected RX 330, 350 and 400h vehicles so that the carpet cover and retention clips could be replaced.
This type of issue significantly increases the risk of crash. It has not been reported how many accident claims that Lexus received before they issued the recall. In some scenarios, the manufacturers of cars will not properly warn the general public of the possible safety risks associated with their products. Unlike a defective kitchen appliance or other consumer product, a defective auto product will likely result in a car accident. Car accidents are serious and often result in death. Among other types of auto product liability are tire defects and steering defects.
Lexus also issued a recall back in 2011 for a defective crankshaft pulley in some of their vehicles. They recalled 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles because of a problem with their V6 engines. In some vehicles, the pulley was becoming unaligned with the inner ring. This could potentially result in a loss of steering control.
The vehicles affected are the following:
- 2004 Avalon
- 2004 & 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna & Solara
- 2006 Highlander HV
- 2004 and 2005 ES 330 and RX 330
- 2006 RX 400h
Involve a Product Liability Lawyer Today: Call for a Free Consult
We know you may have various choices in legal counsel when faced with a product liability claim for uncontrolled acceleration or a similar auto part defect. There is no substitute for competence, however, and our track record of success in the field of injury law provides solid proof of our skill. We have recovered billions in verdicts and settlements for the injured – find out how we can help you.
Contact a product liability lawyer for experienced help with a claim involving sudden acceleration.