Family files lawsuit against Toyota for their son's death

Discussion in '4x4's, SUV's and P/U Trucks' started by xcel, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] “Known” faulty steering rod installed in nearly 1-million vehicles.

    [xfloat=left][/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Mar. 11, 2009

    1995 Toyota 4Runner

    Although this is more about ambulance chasers, if you own or know somebody that owns a popular 90’s era 4Runner or T100, get it fixed!

    Los Angeles, CA. -- Nearly three years after the Japanese government refused to prosecute Toyota executives for concealing a steering rod relay defect until after a horrific accident occurred in Japan, O'Reilly & Danko has filed a Complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of the late Levi Stewart's parents. Levi Stewart died on September 15, 2007 when his Toyota truck's steering relay rod snapped and he crashed, due to the total loss of steering control. Levi was killed, and his friends were seriously injured.

    The Stewarts contend that Toyota should have issued the recall in the mid-1990s when Toyota first learned that steering rod relays were snapping, causing injuries and accidents due to the loss of steering. Had the Toyota executives issued the recall then, the Stewarts believe that Levi Stewart would be alive today. The Stewarts never received notice of either the Japanese or the later U.S. recall.

    In 2004, local police in Komamoto, Japan investigated a frightening accident when the steering relay rod in a Toyota Hilux Surf (4-Runner) snapped, causing it to cross a median and strike another vehicle head-on. The police learned that Toyota executives had known since the mid 1990s that the steering rods were defective, but had refused to issue a recall then. Only after the media storm from Komamoto did Toyota issue a recall, but only in Japan, and not any other country in which their vehicles were sold.

    Toyota knew that it had installed this same part, the defective steering relay rod, into nearly 1 million vehicles in the United States. In 2004, Toyota told the U.S. government it "had received field information from the Japanese market but no similar information from the U.S. Market had been received." This was untrue. O'Reilly & Danko's investigation has uncovered multiple accidents caused by the defective relay rods, which had been reported to Toyota or their dealers before the Japanese recall. The lawsuit alleges that Toyota, in fact, had notice of steering rods failing in the United States, when they told NHTSA otherwise. O'Reilly & Danko's investigation continues at Toyota Steering Recall.

    Toyota eventually issued a recall in the United States in 2005, but due to the lackadaisical effort by Toyota only approximately 32% of the trucks were repaired after a year and a half. The generally accepted pass/fail rate for automotive recalls is 70%. "32% may be acceptable for the Red Sox lead off hitter. For an automotive recall where drivers can lose steering, it's an utter failure," said their attorney, John P. Kristensen of O'Reilly & Danko.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2009
  2. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    You'll find greed and cover ups everywhere, its sad that the innocents have to suffer for those lining their pockets.
  3. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    Toyota deserves to lose this case. In cases like this, you have to wonder how Toyota's executives can sleep at night.

    OTOH, I knew an engineer who worked in Detroit for Ford in the 1960s. He quit Ford over a quality issue, and went to work for Bendix. He never owned another Ford. The issue was Ford using $2.50 wheel bearings it knew would fail at 25,000 miles, when it could have bought $3 wheel bearings that would have lasted 50,000 miles

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