California’s lemon law can help to provide certain car buyers in Orange County and elsewhere throughout the state with legal relief if they have invested in a new vehicle and the car they purchased turns out to be defective. Unfortunately, an ever-growing number of consumers have found themselves grappling with issues related to a new car purchase gone wrong.
There have been an increasing number of recalls of vehicles because of serious safety issues, with some of the largest car manufacturers forced to take their cars off the roads for repairs. Just recently, the Chronicle reported on yet another recall, this time instituted by Toyota Motor.
More Consumers at Risk Due to Serious Vehicle Defects
According to the Chronicle report, Toyota Motor has announced it is recalling 3.37 million of its vehicles. The recall is being prompted by several different issues with some of Toyota's vehicles, including problems with airbags and emissions systems.
Around 1.4 million of the vehicles that Toyota is recalling have problems with the welds connecting the side-curtain airbags. The welds in these airbags are at risk of deteriorating over time, causing the side-curtain airbags to suddenly inflate without cause.
Not only can these inflating airbags cause physical damage as they suddenly and forcefully inflate, but the inflation can also be a major distraction resulting in an accident. This airbag problem is different from other airbag issues with defective Takata airbags that have prompted manufacturers to recall millions of cars due to the fact the Takata airbags could rupture.
The side airbags that are allegedly causing problems in Toyota vehicles are made by a different company called Autoliv. In seven of the cases in which the side airbags have deployed, the airbags went off in unoccupied parked cars and there was no indication that there was a deployment signal.
In addition to the airbag issues, around 3.37 million vehicles have also been recalled because of possible problems with fuel tanks. Affected models with emissions system issues include the Toyota Prius, various Lexus models, the Auris and the Corolla. Most of the cars with the problem fuel tank system were sold in either Japan or China, but this does not mean that U.S. consumers can simply assume their car is safe.
While Toyota officials indicate they are not yet aware of any injuries linked to the problems with the fuel system or the airbags, this does not mean that problems won't arise. Those affected should take their vehicles to a Toyota or a Lexus dealership to have the appropriate repairs to the defective vehicle parts made as soon as possible.
Recalls like this one have become far too common and dealing with defects can sometimes seem like a fact of life consumers have to live with. Depending upon the defect, however, there may be legal options including taking advantage of protections under California’s lemon law. Understanding options can be challenging when defects arise, so consumers should consider getting appropriate legal help if they need it.