What to Do When a Defective Toyota Prius Causes an Accident

On February 12, 2014 Toyota Motor Sales USA announced that it was issuing a voluntary recall of approximately 700,000 Toyota Prius vehicles in the U.S., and a total of 1.9 million worldwide. The affected vehicles run the risk of a defect in the motor/generator and hybrid control ECU software that can cause high thermal stress on transistors which may damage the components.

While no reports of accidents or injury have been filed, there is a risk that the vehicles will enter failsafe mode while being driven, resulting in a loss of power and sudden stopping of the vehicle.

Prius owners are being urged to take their cars into any authorized Toyota dealership in the U.S. where the software glitch will be fixed free of charge. The software update will take about 40 minutes, according to Toyota. If the update does not resolve the issue, the vehicle’s control module may have to be replaced, which can take up to three hours.

Toyota is not the only manufacturer to issue a massive recall on its vehicles. Every year millions of vehicles are subject to recalls due to defective parts and design flaws. There are two ways to determine if your vehicle has been recalled: 1) receipt of a recall notice from the manufacturer or dealership; or 2) visiting SaferCar.gov to search their database for current vehicle recalls.

When Defective Vehicles Cause Accidents, Contact an Injury Attorney

Even a defect in the tiniest vehicle component can cause a major accident if it impairs a driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle. While Toyota has demonstrated it is capable of resolving safety issues in a timely manner, some Prius owners may still experience trouble even after their cars have been serviced. If this is the case, owners can contact the manufacturer directly or file a safety complaint with the NHTSA. In other unfortunate cases, defective cars can cause serious accidents and injuries. For example, a malfunctioning air bag could deploy while driving, startling the driver and blocking their vision. Or a cracked fuel tank could leak gasoline and ignite, causing severe burns to the car’s passengers.

Attorney D.J. Banovitz has helped individuals injured by defective vehicles recover just compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses. These cases can be extremely difficult to prove without the guidance of an experienced legal professional. If you believe you have a case and would like to discuss the details, call 303-300-5060 to schedule a no cost, no obligation consultation. You can also fill out our online contact form.