Cars are an essential part of our lives. They take us to work, school, the grocery store, and a number of other destinations that are important in our everyday life. While there are a number of high quality cars currently on the market, the Toyota Prius has gained recent notoriety due to its high fuel economy and small environmental “footprint.” Unfortunately, the Toyota Prius is not without its hazards—in fact, a number of serious recalls have been issued against this vehicle. Some of the grimmest recalls include faulty braking and acceleration systems, as well as damage to the electric water pump.
The ability of a vehicle to brake upon demand is perhaps one of its most important components—in fact, failure to brake can lead to serious consequences to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. Unfortunately, in February of 2010, many Prius drivers reported an inability to brake on a consistent basis, and a subsequent recall of 133,000 Toyota Priuses was implemented. This problem was especially evident when the vehicles were driven in inclement weather, such as in snowy or rainy conditions. While a variety of techniques were used to correct this problem, a software update was effective in most reported cases.
While braking is obviously essential for drivers, maintaining control over the accelerator is also quite important. Another dangerous recall of the Toyota Prius—which occurred in October of 2009—focused on just this issue. At this time, some Prius owners were experiencing a sudden increase in acceleration, which led to a number of serious and life-threatening accidents. Investigators determined that the problem was due to a combination of poor accelerator pedal design and floor mats that did not fit the car properly. Subsequent Toyota Priuses have been redesigned with this problem in mind, and complaints about rapid acceleration have rapidly decreased.
The most recent Toyota Prius recall occurred in November 2012, after complaints about the functionality of the electric water pump began to add up. According to some drivers, the electric water pump short-circuited, causing a number of warning lights to become illuminated. In some cases, the hybrid system of the Toyota Prius stopped entirely due to malfunction of the electric water pump. While there have been no deaths attributed to electric water pump failure at this time, experts believe that this dysfunction could cause the vehicle to stall suddenly—resulting in serious vehicle crashes or accidents.
Maintaining the safety of one’s vehicle is not only important for the driver, but for all individuals on the road. Despite a driver’s best efforts, he or she may not be able to prevent accident or injury if their car malfunctions while on the highway or interstate. Identifying all relevant recalls—and understanding their potential for danger—is thus essential for those who want to avoid mishaps and malfunction. Toyota Prius owners can stay up-to-date on all vehicle recalls by visiting the Toyota Recall center on a regular basis, or by calling customer service representatives at 1-800-331-4331.
Braud and Gallagher can help you if you experience injury or property damage as a result of a manufacturing defect in your vehicle. Car Accidents can happen at any time and it’s important to have experienced representation you can trust handling your case.