Companies often recall tens of thousands of vehicles (or more) because of various defects that could pose serious safety risks. The moves can cost auto manufacturers some serious cash, but not issuing a recall also has its consequences, as a new lawsuit against Toyota shows.
A group of Toyota hybrid owners is suing the company, alleging Toyota engaged in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” related to hybrid vehicles with defective brakes. They say the company decided to “gamble with its drivers’ lives” by refusing to recall the cars despite being aware of the problem.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also looking into the alleged defect, after a California Toyota dealership owner in September asked the federal agency to investigate. Toyota has issued two safety recalls for a booster pump problem that could cause brakes to fail, but the company did not include hybrids owned by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, according to the complaint.
NHTSA received some 289 complaints about brake problems in Toyota hybrids that were not included in those recalls, according to Los Angeles Daily News.
“We are committed to the safety and security of our customers,” Toyota told the Daily News. “The Prius provides safe and reliable transportation to millions of people every day, and Toyota stands behind the effectiveness of its braking system.”
California Car Owners’ Legal Rights
The Toyota lawsuit is another reminder of the havoc that can be caused by latent defects in cars that go unnoticed until long after those vehicles have left the factory floor.
The good news for California car owners is that the state’s lemon law provides some powerful protections. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires car manufacturers to repair vehicles while they are under warranty. A manufacturer that is not able or is unwilling to fix the problem is forced to buy the car back or replace it.
Because there is no set number of repair attempts or requests that must be made before the law kicks in, it is important to consult a seasoned California lemon law attorney. The law requires the car manufacturer to cover any legal fees that an owner incurs enforcing his or her rights.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a car owner with a defective vehicle, an experienced California lemon law attorney can help ensure that the manufacturer is made fully responsible.
The California lemon law lawyers at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to speak with a California lemon law attorney.