Toyota, which is facing hundreds of lawsuits in the United States related to unintended acceleration injuries, now needs to fix coolant pumps in 650,000 Prius cars for model years 2004-07. Of those cars, 390,000 are in North America, and 378,000 are in the United States. Since last year, Toyota has recalled 14 million cars across the globe, including 11 million in the United States, for problems like defective gas pedals, floor mats and braking.
The Prius is a hybrid car that switches between a gas engine and an electric motor. In the 2004-07 models, air can get trapped in the coolant pump and cause a malfunction or overheating of the core hybrid system. According to Toyota, no accidents related to the coolant pump have been reported yet. Toyota is calling the push for repairs a “customer satisfaction campaign,” as opposed to a recall.
Toyota will begin notifying United States Prius owners in December and will cover the cost of the repairs.
In recent weeks, a federal judge in California ruled that lawsuits filed after Toyota’s recalls could move forward, while Toyota continued to assert that plaintiffs could not prove that a design defect was to blame for unintended acceleration.
Overheated cars can cause dangerous breakdowns and other costly complications. Car manufacturers should make sure that their products are safe, and when they don’t, they can be liable. At Altman & Altman, we have a team of experienced products liability attorneys who would be glad to help you.
MSNBC: Toyota to fix 650,000 Prius hybrids, over heat
MSNBC: California judge won’t dismiss Toyota lawsuits
The Boston Herald: Toyota fixing coolant pump in Prius globally
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