Toyota Pays Out Millions in Safety Settlement

A wide range of factors can attribute, either individually or in concert, to a serious automobile accident. From an intoxicated or distracted driver to poorly managed streets and highways, there seems to be little shortage of worrisome conditions that could transform a responsible person's routine drive into an injurious or even deadly collision in the blink of an eye.

One crucial element of the driving experience that isn't frequently considered by those on the road, however, is the mechanics of cars themselves. Still, each year numerous accidents and untold sums of damage are incurred both here in Arizona and across the country on account of an irresponsibly designed or maintained vehicle.

Plagued by numerous legal battles on account of a malfunctioning "sticky" gas pedal in its models and the poorly-managed recall that followed, Toyota recently reached a settlement with the attorneys general of 29 states (including Arizona) that alleged the auto giant had failed to properly notify its customers of the dangers of its products.

All told, Toyota will pay $29 million to settle the 2010 lawsuit, which had asserted that the necessary communication of the sticking gas pedal recall between the company's headquarters and its customer base was mismanaged and unduly slow.

In addition to payments to the states involved in the suit, Toyota has agreed to post owners' manuals online in order to make vehicle information more accessible to its drivers. An overhaul to the company's safety error response system will also be soon underway.

This is not the only payment Toyota has made in connection with its malfunctioning gas pedals. Over $1 billion has already been paid to victims and victims' families who have suffered an injury or death as a result of car accidents brought on by faulty gas pedals causing a serious accident.

While the safety and reliability of vehicles on the road has improved drastically in recent years and decades, recalls such as this one have shown that when automobile manufacturers make an error, and then fail to rectify that error with the expedience it demands, the consequences for drivers can be tragic. For those who have been injured in auto accident, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that the due restitution is paid by those responsible.

Source: Huffington Post, "Toyota pays $29M to states to settle safety suit," De-Ann Durbin, Feb. 14, 2013

When those responsible for designing and maintaining a safe automobile are negligent in their duties, a serious accident can befall even the most careful of motorists. To learn more about how what steps to take after an injury, please contact a Phoenix personal injury lawyer.

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