Thursday, March 14, 2013
Corporate Counsel (3/14, Hechler, 43K) reports on the dispute over sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. According to Corporate Counsel, Toyota claims that the problems began in 2009, and the company "has moved aggressively to contain the damage. Shifting floor mats were identified as a primary cause of many of these episodes. Later, the company fingered accelerator pedals manufactured by a third party as prone to sticking. And Toyota says that many accidents are caused by drivers who inadvertently step on the gas instead of the brake." Corporate Counsel adds, "As the crisis mounted, the company seemed overmatched. Critics charged that Toyota had sacrificed quality - its traditional strong suit - in a rush to rack up sales," but as Toyota "battled two large multidistrict litigation class actions (MDLs) in California, it quietly settled some of the smaller lawsuits." The problem seemed to be over, but "some leading automotive experts aren't buying it."