Friday, November 27, 2009

Gas Pedal in 3.8 Million Toyota Vehicles to be redesigned

Vehicle manufacturers and makers are responsible for the safety of people who used their cars or vehicles. Hence car manufacturers can be held liable for injuries suffered by car users from accidents caused by manufacturing or design defects.

Among other changes, Toyota will redesign gas pedals on about 3.8 million of its known trucks and cars to correct possible unexpected acceleration problems.

The automaker will start to notify vehicle owners about this nationwide recall before the year ends. It will include recent model years of Avalon, Camry, Tundra, Lexus, Tacoma, and Prius.

Owners were already advised to remove their driver-side floor mat so that the gas pedal will not be entrapped.

This move followed after San Diego County Sheriff’s Department released a preliminary report stating that the recent fatal high-speed accident in Santee likely happened when the floor mat entrapped the gas pedal. The life of a police officer and his family members ended due to the incident.

The pedal will be about ¾ inch shorter and will have a somewhat different shape after it was modified.

Toyota will install a brake override system and change the Styrofoam padding beneath the floor carpet in the Camry, Avalon, and Lexus models with a thinner material.

This system will be responsible in cutting the power in case of an abrupt acceleration situation in which the vehicle’s brakes and pedal are simultaneously pressed.

Deaths may have been prevented if only Toyota was more cautious in designing and manufacturing its vehicles. The company should have foreseen accidents that may happen if a certain part due to vehicle defect.