Toyota Motor Corporation named in class action lawsuit for vehicle frames that prematurely rust and corrode


According to the class action complaint, the frames for certain model year Toyota vehicles are prone to excessive, premature rust corrosion because the frames were not properly prepared and treated against rust corrosion when they were manufactured. The model years at issue in this Class Action complaint are the 2005 to 2011 Toyota 4- Runners.

Excessively corroded frames pose a serious safety hazard to a vehicle’s occupants because a vehicle’s frame forms the basis of a vehicle’s crash-worthiness, including its ability to withstand or minimize damage to the occupant compartment in the event of an accident.

Toyota has represented that its vehicles are crash-worthy and sturdy throughout the expected life of the vehicles and its customers expect vehicles to remain crash-worthy and sturdy throughout the vehicle’s life. Contrary to this promise and expectation, the frames of the Toyota 4-Runner and the other Toyota Vehicles were designed, manufactured, and sold with inadequate rust corrosion protection. As a result, the frames on the Toyota 4-Runner and the other Toyota Vehicles are prone to excessive rust corrosion, which render the vehicles unstable and unsafe.

According to the complaint, the Defendants have long known the frames on the Toyota 4-Runner and the other Toyota Vehicles are defective because they lack adequate rust corrosion protection. Despite this knowledge, the Defendants failed to disclose the existence of the Toyota 4-Runner defect to the Plaintiff, other Class members, and the public. Nor has it issued a recall to inspect and repair the Toyota 4-Runner, or offered to reimburse owners of the Toyota 4-Runner for costs incurred to identify and repair this defect.


Toyota recalls year 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivans over failure of power sliding door


Toyota is recalling certain model year 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivans manufactured January 4, 2010, to August 12, 2016. If the power sliding door is unable to be opened when commanded, such as if the door is frozen shut, the door may subsequently open unexpectedly, possibly while the vehicle is moving.

If door opens while the vehicle is moving, there would be an increased risk of injury to the vehicle occupants.

744,437 vehicles are affected by the recall

The remedy for this recall is still under development. Interim notices are expected to be mailed to owners by January 21, 2017.

Toyota named in class action lawsuit over defective dashboards



According to the class action complaint, less than two years ago, Toyota extricated their automotive operations from class action litigation in this Court on the basis that millions of owners of automobiles with defective dashboards would receive voluntary and comprehensive warranty coverage. In light of the announced implementation of the warranty program in December 2014, the Prior Action was resolved individually and dismissed.

The warranty program, however, made promises Defendants could not keep. In particular, Defendants commenced the program without adequate replacement parts. Defendants exacerbated their problem by only permitting consumers to obtain the warranty service at authorized dealers, most of which did not have sufficient inventory. Even today, approximately 1 year and 8 months since the commencement of the program, Defendants are utterly incapable of completing their dashboard warranty obligations in a timely or reasonable fashion. Plaintiff, whose name has been on a wait list and will remain waiting on that list for many more years, will not receive the warranty repair prior to the expiration of the program. Consequently, Plaintiff now seeks to remedy this breach of warranty for herself and a nationwide class of consumers.


Toyota named in class action lawsuit for failing to include heated steering wheel in cold weather package


Plaintiff and all New Jersey citizens who in connection with either an outright purchase or lease of a Lexus automobile model 2015 GS 350, expended funds in purchasing a “cold weather package” from Lexus.

The Plaintiff brings this class action to secure compensatory relief on behalf of herself and all other class members who have suffered harm as a result of the purchase of the cold weather package option as part of their purchase or lease of a 2015 Lexus GS 350 (the “Automobile”).

As alleged, Defendant induced consumers to purchase this cold weather package so that they would obtain a heated steering wheel when in fact the Automobile sold or leased to Class Members did not contain a heated steering wheel.



NHTSA opens investigation of allegation of defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control software



In a letter dated September 15, 2015, a consumer submitted a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alleging that software defects caused an accident experienced by his wife in a model year 2010 Lexus HS250H vehicle as she was attempting to park the vehicle. The petition requests that NHTSA “have Toyota correct software defects in their electronic throttle control software” and then “issue a national recall of all effected [sic] vehicles and have Toyota replace the old faulty code with the new safer code.” The petition will be evaluated to determine if it will be granted or denied.


Toyota, Ford and General Motors named in class action over defect that allows vehicles on board computers to be hacked.


According to the complaint, Defendants failed consumers in all of these areas when they sold or leased vehicles that are susceptible to computer hacking and are therefore unsafe. Because Defendants failed to ensure the basic electronic security of their vehicles, anyone can hack into them, take control of the basic functions of the vehicle, and thereby endanger the safety of the driver and others.

Defendants’ vehicles contain more than 35 separate electronic control units (ECUs), connected through a controller area network (“CAN” or “CAN bus”). Vehicle functionality and safety depend on the functions of these small computers, the most essential of which is how they communicate with one another.

The ECUs communicate by sending each other “CAN packets,” digital messages containing small amounts of data. But if an outside source, such as a hacker, were able to send CAN packets to ECUs on a vehicle’s CAN bus, the hacker could take control of such basic functions of the vehicle as braking, steering, and acceleration – and the driver of the vehicle would not be able to regain control.

As alleged, Defendants have known, their CAN bus-equipped vehicles for years have been (and currently are) susceptible to hacking, and their ECUs cannot detect and stop hacker attacks on the CAN buses. For this reason, Defendants’ vehicles are not secure, and are therefore not safe.

Yet, Defendants have charged a substantial premium for their CAN bus-equipped vehicles since their rollout. These defective vehicles are worth far less than are similar non-defective vehicles, and far less than the defect-free vehicles the Plaintiffs and the other Class members bargained for and thought they had received.

As a result of Defendants’ unfair, deceptive, and/or fraudulent business practices, and their failure to disclose the highly material fact that their vehicles were susceptible to hacking and neither secure nor safe, owners and/or lessees of Defendants’ CAN bus-equipped vehicles have suffered losses in money and/or property. Had Plaintiffs and the other Class members known of the defects at the time they purchased or leased their vehicles, they would not have purchased or leased those vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicles than they did.

The class includes a variety of vehicles manufactured by Toyota, GM and Ford.  Toyota manufactures and sells vehicles under the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion names (the “Toyota Vehicles”); Ford manufactures and sells vehicles under the Ford, Lincoln, and (until 2011) Mercury names (the “Ford Vehicles”); GM manufactures and sells vehicles under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC names, and (until 2009) under the Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn names (the “GM Vehicles”). The CAN buses in all Toyota Vehicles, Ford Vehicles, and GM Vehicles are essentially identical in that they are all susceptible to hacking and thus suffer from the same defect. For purposes of this Complaint, all CAN bus-equipped vehicles are referred to collectively as the “Class Vehicles” or “Defective Vehicles.”

Toyota recalls Avalon vehicles over shorts in the speaker system

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 Toyota Avalon vehicles manufactured February 9, 2010, to October 22, 2012. In the affected vehicles, the sub-woofer speaker located in the trunk may experience an intermittent electrical short which may cause damage to the integrated circuit (IC) in the audio amplifier. In some cases, the damaged IC may allow a constant electrical current flow to the sub-woofer.

A constant electrical current flow may cause the sub-woofer to overheat, increasing the risk of fire.

Approximately, 51,495 vehicles are affected by the recall

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will provide a remedy for the audio system, free of charge. Until the remedy is available, Toyota will mail an interim notice and dealers will disconnect the sub-woofer. Toyota issued an interim notification to owners on February 23, 2015


Toyota recalls cars sold in high absolute humidity areas for faulty and dangerous airbags

Toyota is recalling certain model year 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia and 2003-2005 Toyota Tundra, Corolla, Corolla and Matrix vehicles that were originally sold, or are currently registered, in high absolute humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. The inflators in the front passenger air bags are susceptible to rupture in the event of a crash necessitating the deployment of the front passenger air bag.

Toyota estimates approximately 247,000 vehicles are affected by the recall.

The recall was necessitated by a safety hazard posed by the affected airbags.  In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the front passenger’s frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants.

Toyota will notify owners of affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles and will replace the passenger side air bag inflator, free of charge. If a replacement inflator is not available, as an interim measure, the dealer will disable the front passenger air bag and advise the customer not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin its owner notification and remedy of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles on or around October 25, 2014.

If you have been injured by such a faulty airbag, please share your story, or contact us to inquire about your legal rights.

Toyota recalls over one million 2006-2008 RAV4, 2006-2010 Yaris, 2008-2010 Highlander, and 2009-2010 Tacoma, Corolla, Corolla Matrix vehicles

Toyota is recalling certain model year 2006-2008 RAV4, 2006-2010 Yaris, 2008-2010 Highlander, and 2009-2010 Tacoma, Corolla, Corolla Matrix vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the steering column assembly contains electrical connections to the driver’s airbag module housed in a spiral cable assembly, which includes a Flexible Flat Cable (FFC). Due to the shape and location of the FFC’s retainer, the FFC could become damaged when the steering wheel is turned.

If the FFC is damaged, connectivity to the driver’s air bag module could be lost and the air bag deactivated. The failure of the driver’s air bag to deploy in the event of a crash that typically necessitates deployment increases the risk of injury to the driver.

Toyota will send an interim notification letter in late April 2014 to advise owners of the recall, and will mail owners a second letter when remedy parts are available.

Toyota recalls 2013 Highlander for defective second row seat that does not lock in place

Toyota is recalling certain model year 2013 Highlander vehicles manufactured March 13, 2013, through August 6, 2013. In the affected vehicles, the second row left hand seat may not lock in place when positioned in the forward front or second adjusting position. As such, the vehicles do not conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  Toyota estimates that 46,757 are affected by the recall.

As a consequence of the defect, if the seat does not lock into the seat track, there may be an increased risk of injury to an occupant in the event of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will modify the second row left hand seat so that it will lock into the seat track, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.