In June 2011, Toyota announced a recall affecting the Prius for model years 2001 through 2003. According to Safercar.gov, the cars were manufactured from January 28, 2000 through May 30, 2003.
The defective component is part of the steering system, specifically the electric power assist system (commonly called “power steering”), which uses an electric motor to reduce the effort necessary for the driver to steer the vehicle. In this case, the steering linkage may loosen and diminish electric steering assistance when making a left turn.
The loss of power steering while the car is in motion and in the process of making a turn could result in a collision and injuries.
The recall should begin in early July 2011. If you believe you own a Prius that is part of the recall, you can call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 for more information. Toyota will contact the owners of affected cars and instruct them to take their vehicles to a dealership where repairs to the referenced system will be made free of charge.
Defective and/or poorly designed parts and systems on a motor vehicle pose a danger to the driver, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists sharing the road. Auto manufacturers are responsible for designing, creating and distributing safe vehicles, fit for the purpose intended. They must test vehicles appropriately to determine their safety, crashworthiness and performance before placing them on the market for consumer purchase.
Individuals who drove a defective vehicle and who were in New Jersey auto accidents may be able to hold auto manufacturers liable for defects in the vehicle’s design, manufacture and testing. At Blume Forte, our New Jersey auto product liability attorneys can help determine if you may have a valid claim; call 973-845-4421 for a no-cost consultation.