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March 17, 2010

Those who watched Congressional hearings on Toyota’s recall and safety issues Tuesday saw Toyota executive James E. Lentz III do an about-face on his previous adamant assurance that fixing accelerator pedals would lead to successful repairs for Toyota vehicles that owners reported were vulnerable to sudden acceleration.

U.S. government officials including the House Energy committee Chairman Henry Waxman questioned Lentz about the truth on why Toyota vehicles seem to be accelerating out of control so often on the American roadway. In his responses, Lentz stated that electronic throttle systems are unrelated to the sudden acceleration problem.

Issues with the Toyota recall and safety problems have reached a crescendo as more research leads to conclusion that the electric throttle systems had something to do with the unsafe accelerations that are continuing to puzzle top Toyota staff, as well as a third-party firm that the company brought in to do extensive research on their cars.

Despite many consumer reports of faulty acceleration, witnesses at the congressional hearing reported that Toyota has previously stalled on the issue.

What really infuriates many consumer advocates and others is the way that Toyota seems to analyze the dangerous scenario. A witness Tuesday testified that Toyota staff were “unable to replicate” her sudden acceleration problem. This kind of response conforms to the current report coming from Toyota’s own research firm, which says staff is unable to find or replicate the problems commonly reported and recognized, even by the company.

Saying that a technician or engineer “can’t find” evidence of an issue is a very tricky way to sidestep questions about what is causing a phenomenon that all seem to agree is happening. This kind of disingenuous response to a quickly growing concern is part of what makes this Toyota recall so newsworthy, along with the obvious danger to drivers that sudden acceleration can cause.

Though Toyota is looking at solutions to the safety issue including advanced brake technology, it is unlikely that U.S. consumers and their government are going to settle for anything less than a factual explanation of why Toyota vehicles are manifesting acceleration problems. Lentz, for his part, admitted in testimony that Toyota had made mistakes and “lost sight” of its customers. How much more the car company is willing to give on this issue remains to be seen, but with the recall of millions of cars and no end in sight for the investigation of the acceleration problem, those with a stake in tomorrow’s auto industry agree that the leaders at Toyota have their work cut out for them.

If you or a family member sustained injuries in an accident due to the faulty acceleration of a Toyota, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham. James Cunningham is an experienced Toyota recall injury attorney and can guide you through the complexities of the legal process. The initial consultation is free and there’s never a fee for attorney fees unless a recovery is made on your behalf. You can contact Toyota recall injury lawyer James O. Cunningham at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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