The public relations nightmare for Toyota continues. The company has been plagued with recall after recall. After its most recent announcement, the company faces a class-action lawsuit. On Feb. 9, Toyota announced that the 2010 Toyota Prius, which was previously exempt from recalls, was now being recalled because of a problem with the brake system.
At the same time, Toyota announced that the all-new Lexus HS 250h hybrid was also being recalled due to a similar brake issue. Embedded in that same announcement was a note that about 7,300 2010-model Toyota Camrys were also being recalled due to a completely unrelated issue.
Two days later, Alabama law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. announced that they were pursuing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 500,000 Toyota Prius and Lexus hybrid owners.
According to Dan Miles, head of the law firm’s consumer fraud and class action department, Toyota knew about the braking system defect well in advance of the official recall.
"Toyota knew about these defects long before they issued a recall, yet they continued to market the vehicles as safe and reliable," says Miles. "The Prius brake issue is yet another product defect from a Toyota automobile that creates unsafe driving conditions for Prius owners and appears to have been known by Toyota for years, but the company failed to take any remedial action." Source: Beasley Allen
According to the firm’s website, Toyota is being charged with the following complaints: breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, breach of implied warranty of fitness for particular purpose, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
This lawsuit is not the first class-action case filed by Beasley Allen. The firm filed a class-action complaint on Feb. 4 on behalf of 5 million Toyota vehicle owners affected by the massive recall. The firm is also working with plaintiffs in Oklahoma on a specific case involving a 2005 Toyota Camry that was involved in a fatal accident after the accelerator stuck.
As news about Toyota’s recall woes continue to surface, people are beginning to ask, can Toyota be saved? No one knows a definitive answer to this question, but it will take a lot of good will by Toyota for the company to emerge from this mess with their reputation and sales figures intact.