Toyota and Honda are both recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles for potential brake defects the present rollaway risks. According to news reports, Toyota is recalling 340,000 units of the Prius globally including 92,000 of the 2016 and 2017 models in the U.S. In these vehicles, the parking brake could become inoperative. When this occurs and the driver exits the vehicle with the transmission in a gear other than “park” while the ignition is on, the vehicle could roll away.
Defects Pose Rollaway Risks
The Japanese automaker has received reports of crashes, injuries and deaths and is still looking into reports. When the recall begins, dealers will add clips on the top of the brake cable dust boots to prevent the cable from becoming inoperative. Honda is recalling 350,083 of its new 2016 Civics because the electric parking brake may not engage when the engine is turned off, leading to the possibility that the car could roll away and crash. The recall covers Civics with both the 1.5-liter turbo and 2-liter engines. Honda says so far no accidents have been reported.
The issue came to light by analyzing warranty claims. Honda said it found 342 cases in which the problem occurred. The defect will be fixed at no charge to consumers with a software update. The problem involves software in the vehicle stability control unit, which prevents the parking brake from being applied.
The Danger of Rollaway Defects
The hazards posed by vehicles that roll without warning can be devastating. The death of “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin highlighted the gravity of this serious problem. Yelchin died in his San Fernando Valley home in June when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away and pinned the actor to his mailbox at the bottom of a steep driveway. He was alone and friends found Yelchin when they went to his house when he failed to turn up to a rehearsal. Yelchin’s vehicle was part of a recall by Fiat Chrysler. His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker.
Auto Product Liability Issues
In such cases, victims of defective autos can seek compensation from negligent automakers for injuries, damages and losses caused. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking to hold automaker accountable as well. Victims or families of victims would be well advised to retain the services of a renowned auto defect law firm that has successfully handled these types of cases and has the resources to conduct independent crash testing and other investigations.