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April 7, 2010

With Toyota Motor Company’s quality control, safety and legal problems continuing to worsen, the world’s largest automaker suffered a new setback recently with the announcement that the federal government has hit the company with a huge fine. The Transportation Department recently issued the record $16.4 million fine to the company for hiding a “dangerous defect” and failing to act in a timely manner to alert regulators to safety problems in several of its models. Toyota is reportedly weighing its options and must decide whether to accept the fine, which would amount to admitting that they did something wrong or contesting the fine and taking on even more negative publicity.

The company has been named in hundreds of private product liability lawsuits and has two weeks to decide to accept the fine or contest it. The company is in the midst of dealing with recalls on over six million of its most popular models in the U.S. and another two million in other countries. The biggest recall affects many Toyota models being fixed for gas pedals that can accelerate suddenly and become stuck. Faulty brakes have plagued the company’s popular Prius hybrid model.

During the announcement of the record fine, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed that his department had documentation that indicated that the company knew about the sticking accelerator problems late in September 2009, but did not issue a recall to remedy the problem until January 2010. The sticking accelerator recall affects 2.3 million Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs.

“We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” LaHood said in a statement. “Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families.”

Because the company allegedly knew about the safety problems and was slow to react, LaHood levied the maximum penalty allowable. The previous record fine from the Department of Transportation was issued in 2004 against General Motors for $1 million for faulty windshield wipers. Thus far, the Toyota Motor Company has been named in at least 138 potential class-action lawsuits over falling vehicle and company stock values and at least 100 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country.

Under Florida law, the manufacturer and seller of a defective product is liable for any loss, injury or damage caused by the normal use of the defective product. Florida Toyota recall accident lawyer James O. Cunningham has been helping clients and families in product liability cases since 1977. He has the experience and resources to handle large cases like this, and he has earned the reputation of a tireless defender of his clients’ rights and someone who works hard to help each client receive the maximum compensation. If you have been injured or someone you care for has been injured or died due to a defective Toyota vehicle, contact Florida Toyota recall accident attorney James O. Cunningham today.

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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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Orange County:
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500 Delaney Avenue #404
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-425-2000

Seminole County:
Lake Mary, FL

300 International Parkway #100
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County:
Kissimmee, FL

17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County:
Daytona Beach, FL

1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

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DeBary, FL

465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Volusia County:
Deland, FL

120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County:
Inverness, FL

110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County:
Lakeland, FL

1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

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Winter Haven, FL

325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

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Tampa, FL

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Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

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3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

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Mt. Dora, FL

Mt. Dora, FL
Phone: 352-436-4696

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Clermont, FL

3721 S Hwy 27, Suite A
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County:
Titusville, FL

506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

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Cocoa, FL

96 Willard Street, Suite 206
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373

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  • I was involved in a motor vehicle accident where the other driver ran a red light and my car was a total loss. I was referred to James Cunningham due to the fact that our attorney’s have been very impressed with James Cunningham’s work. This fact turned out to be very true… A Personal Injury Client
  • My car accident case was handled by Mr Cunningham and I was very pleased with how everything was done. He handles his own cases and his staff is top notch. He got me a very nice settlement without going to court. Derek
  • We contacted Jim Cunningham to help guide us through the "maize" of possible outcomes in settling with insurance companies, medical bills, and even police investigation with the accident. David
  • Cunningham worked hard was professional, supportive, diligent and always maintained contact. I am very satisfied with the service that him and his team provided. Mr Cunningham is a lawyer that will work for you. Dezhaun
  • I consulted with several attorneys, but as soon as I met James Cunningham, I knew he was the right attorney for me. He immediately expressed concern for my well-being, and his compassionate, professional manner put me at ease. Diane