Toyota Recall and Accidents Impact Sacramento Drivers

The recent troubles facing Toyota automobiles in North America affect not only the owners of its vehicles, but also those of us sharing the roadways with the defective and potentially dangerous cars.

Toyota dealers resumed selling vehicles Thursday that were pulled from the sales lot to address sudden-acceleration problems as the automaker said lost sales and a series of related recalls would cost $2 billion.

That recall price tag would be one of the most expensive in automotive history, said auto information company Edmunds. com.

Also, the California state assembly reacted to Toyota Motor Corp.’s safety recalls and its decision to shutter the state’s last auto manufacturing plant by voting Thursday to stop buying Toyota cars for use by lawmakers when they’re in Sacramento. The Assembly Rules Committee voted to resume a 2003 policy of buying only U.S.-made cars for its 130-vehicle fleet.

Toyota stopped sales of eight models — including its top-selling Camry and Corolla — on Jan. 26, saying the gas pedals could get stuck and cause runaway acceleration. The automaker also shut down production of the vehicles for a week while it examined how to fix the problem, which it attributed to wear on the pedal system.

“We now have more than enough parts at dealers to take care of the flow of repairs. Dealers may sell a new car if the repair is made,” said Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman. “There is no single point in time when the stop sale would be lifted. It will be car by car.”

Sales resumed as Toyota detailed its financial results in a conference call early Thursday in Tokyo. The call came before the announcement by U.S. transportation safety officials that they had opened an investigation into whether the 2010 Prius hybrid suffers from a momentary loss of braking capability when the car goes over a rough road surface or pothole. Japanese transportation officials are also looking at the problem.

The Prius problems and the size of Toyota’s recall and repair expenses sent Toyota stock plunging again Thursday, dropping $1.71, or 2.3%, to $71.78. It has fallen 22% since the company’s large recall to fix a sticky gas pedal that could cause unintended acceleration.

Toyota broke the cost of its loss down to about $1.1 billion to pay for two large recalls and about $880 million in lost vehicle sales.

The recalls have sparked several probes by federal and congressional investigators, who plan to look at whether the electronic systems in Toyota’s autos could cause the problem, a notion that Toyota officials rejected in their call with investors Thursday.

“There has not been any fact that has been confirmed that certain unintended acceleration is caused by the electronics total control system,” said Takuo Sasaki, Toyota’s managing officer.

“They have handled this poorly. I am not convinced that they have in fact identified the problem,” Hutson said. “The congressional hearings will pile on negative headlines, and there are plenty of other choices out there for consumers.”

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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