Today, workers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanded documents from Toyota Motor Corp. to evaluate whether Toyota issued its recalls "in a timely manner." U.S. law requires automakers to notify the federal agency within five days of identifying a safety defect. The law also requires a prompt recall when a safety defect is identified.
It is good news that NHTSA is taking this step to evaluate Toyota's conduct. Too many people have been injured or killed in Toyota runaway vehicles (also called "sudden unintended acceleration" cases) for the federal government not to step in to enforce the law. If Toyota has violated its reporting or recall responsibilities, it can be fined millions of dollars. Such an action would provide an important safety incentive for all other manufacturers. For many years our federal agencies have been toothless and more interested in protecting corporations rather than consumer rights. Today's action is a sign that the Obama Administration is taking its responsibilities to protect consumers seriously.
The trial lawyers at Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. have been working to protect consumers from auto defects for thirty years and will gladly help any family who has been harmed by unsafe vehicles or other products.