Toyota Will Investigate Steering Loss Problems
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my own experience driving a Toyota and the loss of steering control in a Toyota Prius while driving on a highway. And now, this past Wednesday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that they are investigating the complaints of power steering problems on their cars, and may issue another recall for steering-related problems. I am not particularly happy about this, because they are only considering problems on Toyota Corolla and not the Prius, their flagship model.
Dimitrios P. Biller, a former Toyota attorney, accused the automaker of hiding evidence in hundreds of rollover death and injury cases. He termed this a “ruthless conspiracy” by the company to keep evidence from the public.
Mr. Biller should know, since he was involved in defending Toyota’s SUV rollover lawsuits between 2003 and 2007. The former Toyota counsel recently filed a legal suit against Toyota Motor Company in Los Angeles.
San Jose lawyer James McManis, who had unsuccessfully defended a quadriplegic client in a Toyota 4Runner rollover case, was surprised by the allegations in the suit. His stunned comments were, “I never suspected they were behaving dishonestly or concealing or withholding evidence. So I’m very interested in knowing whether we got all the discovery we should have got.”
Toyota quality control chief Shinichi Sasaki acknowledged the steering loss complaints: “Drivers may feel as though they were losing control over the steering.” However, he did not know why. He said that there were fewer than 100 complaints related to power steering controls in the Corolla, and the company was examining them.
Even one complaint is too many when the reasons are unknown and the problem can spring up unexpectedly on the road. Do the right thing, Mr. Sasaki, and recall the complaining Prius models as well, or it may come back to bite you some day.