Toyota faces auto defect class actions for Prius defect

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Auto recalls are no longer surprising news to those in California, even when they involve millions of vehicles. Recalls typically involve the repair or replacement of defective parts after which drivers should feel safer about operating their vehicles. When auto manufacturers fail to disclose information about dangerous defects, they may face auto defect class actions. Toyota is currently facing several lawsuits involving defects supposedly repaired in a previous recall.

The issue concerns the electrical system in the Prius model. The systems tend to overheat when the vehicle travels distances without braking, such as on a highway. This extreme heat causes damage to the inverter that controls the power flow between the motors and the battery, resulting in the Prius losing power and coming to a sudden stop.

One woman in another state was driving a Prius that abruptly lost power on a four-lane highway. She was struck from behind by another vehicle traveling 55 mph and suffered serious injuries. While the inverter was supposedly fixed in the previous recall, some suggest Toyota's repair avoided a more extensive and costly replacement of the complex power component that houses the inverter. As a result, some Toyota dealers, including one in California, are calling for an investigation and a second recall.

While numerous consumers have filed lawsuits against Toyota, some are seeking to join in auto defect class actions. Toyota has so far deflected the accusations of choosing a cheaper remedy for the dangerous electrical defect. Many consumers facing a giant company in search of justice seek the advocacy of an experienced attorney.

Source:, "Electrical defects cause Priuses to stall; Toyota may be bracing for a legal fight as safety worries grow", Ralph Vartabedian, May 4, 2018

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