The respected consumer watchdog publication, Consumer Reports (CR), issued a statement July 28 essentially chastising Toyota for not opting for a Toyota Camry hybrid recall because of acknowledged defects in its braking system.
The pointed and well publicized comments were in response to Toyota’s somewhat lukewarm plan of action regarding 177,000 possibly defective 2007-2011 Toyota Camry hybrids in light of 269 power brake complaints, 14 crashes, and five injuries.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident or suffered injuries or loss due to braking problems in the Toyota Camry hybrid, the auto defect lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing offer complimentary legal consultations to help you understand your legal options.
You may be able to file a Toyota brake defect lawsuit if such an injury or loss has occurred.
CR finds many crashes and injuries caused by brake defects
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first opened a preliminary evaluation probe into 30,000 Camry hybrid sedans from 2007 and 2008 after receiving 59 complaints of “intermittent loss of assisted braking”, which resulted in longer stopping distances.
Consumer Reports said its own review for the same two model years found that the number of power-brake complaints had risen to 259, including 14 crashes and five injuries.
Two major brake defects met by tepid Toyota response
One defect is a clogged brake fluid reservoir filter that could cause a loss of power to the front brake assist. Toyota said it would announce a “service campaign” to owners to install a new brake reservoir tank at no cost between now and June 2017. Consumer Reports said that a service campaign is not as effective as a recall because of its relatively minimal lack of publicity and exposure.
The second defect is the brake actuator in the car’s anti-lock braking system. It could fail and warning lights would come on, forcing a driver to apply hard pressure to the brakes to stop the car. Toyota’s response was again not a recall but an extension of the warranty from 3 years, 36,000 miles to 10 years, 150,000 miles to replace the part if it became faulty.
Toyota Camry hybrid recall urged by Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports said these steps are not enough. “Consumer Reports believes that Toyota should recall these cars. What’s at issue here is a series of acknowledged defects in a crucial safety system”.
The magazine went on, “A recall is more comprehensive and more widely published than a mere service campaign, and owners don’t have to wait for a problem to happen before qualifying for the repair. Besides that, unlike extended warranties, recalls don’t expire and are performed retroactively.”
Auto defect lawyers can file a lawsuit on your behalf
In practice for nearly four decades, the product liability lawyers at Hardy, Wolf & Downing will examine the circumstances of your injuries to determine whether you have a viable claim for compensation.
In order to win a product liability lawsuit, we must prove the following occurred:
- The plaintiff suffered a verifiable personal injury
- The vehicle or auto component that caused the injury was either defective or carried inadequate warnings
- The particular product defect or alleged failure to warn was the direct cause of injury
- Injuries were sustained while using the product for its intended purpose
If you have been injured in a Toyota Camry hybrid because of a defect in the braking system, you may be eligible for compensation to help recoup losses associated with medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity, pain and emotional suffering.
To schedule your free consultation about filing a personal injury lawsuit, call Hardy, Wolf & Downing at 1-800-INJURED. We have been providing legal services for Maine residents in the Portland, Lewiston, Auburn, and Bangor areas since 1976.