The Palo Alto Daily News reports the city of Palo Alto will pay $1.5 million to a man injured in a vehicle crash in 2006. The victim alleged a city worker failed to stop for a red light because he was reaching for his cell phone, resulting in a rear-end collision which left the plaintiff with debilitating spinal injuries. The victim had asked for more than $5 million from Palo Alto.
Toyota has recalled 3.8 million cars, the biggest car recall in their history, for a construction flaw where the floor mat can become lodged under the accelerator pedal, making it impossible to stop the moving vehicle.
Vehicles involved in the recall:
Toyota Camry: 2007 – 2010
Toyota Prius: 2004 – 2009
Toyota Avalon: 2005 – 2010
Toyota Tundra: 2007 – 2010
Lexus ES 350: 2007 – 2010
Lexus IS 250: 2006 – 2010
Lexus IS 350: 2006 – 2010
Toyota spokesmen maintain that when the rubber all weather floor mat, which can be standard or optional depending on the vehicle, becomes wedged on top of the gas pedal it causes the acceleration. National Highway Traffic Safety Administraton (NHTSA) announced that Toyota will also install a brake override system on the involved Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350, IS 350 and IS 250 models as an “extra measure of confidence.” The brake override system would ensure the vehicle would stop if both the brake and the accelerator pedals are simultaneously applied.
Some experts disagree with Toyota and believe that the problem is caused by a defective engine throttle control system. In fact, some sudden acceleration cases have been reported when the floor mats were not in place.
Models including the engine throttle control system include:
2000 Toyota Avalon, Toyota Sienna
2001 Lexus RX300, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sienna
2002 Lexus ES300, Lexus RX300, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Camry, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Solara
2003 Lexus ES300, Lexus RX300, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Solara
2004 Toyota Avalon, Toyota Camry, Toyota Solara
2005 Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Solara
2006 Toyota Camry, Toyota Higlander, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Solara
2007 Toyota Camry, Toyota Highlander, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Solara
2008 Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Solara,
2009 Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, and Toyota Matrix
There have been at least 1,000 incidents of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles reported to the NHTSA in the last 8 years. There have been at least 19 deaths and numerous injuries since the 2002 model year.