Toyota Faces Criminal Charges Over Steering Rod Defect

Toyota can’t seem to get anything right these days.  I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to write about Toyota recalls anymore, but as a Seattle personal injury attorney I want to keep people up to date on all things auto safety related.  Most recently, Toyota has been slapped with a subpoenae from New York’s federal grand jury.  In 2004, Toyota issued a recall for their defective steering rods, but only did so in Japan.

It wasn’t until a year later that the company then issued a recall in the United States, but that was too late for an 18-year old boy from Idaho.  He was killed when his Toyota truck rolled over due to a broken steering rod.  According to this article, the family has now filed a lawsuit against the auto-maker claiming their son would still be alive today had the company issued the recall in time.  They didn’t receive notice of the recall until 3 months after his car accident in 2007.  Toyota now faces criminal charges and the NHTSA is delving deep into Toyota’s records under the belief that the company knew very well there was a problem long before the recall was announced.

According to the former NHTSA administrator, Joan Claybrook, “It’s very rare there’s a grand jury investigation involving a safety defect of a motor vehicle.  This is a very important development because it shows some prosecutors thought that Toyota’s actions were so outrageous they deserved possible criminal indictment.”