January 31, 2010

Toyota Issues a 2nd Recall

The New York Times reports from Detroit, “Toyota issued its second large recall in two months on Thursday to fix a problem with accelerator pedals that can get stuck, causing vehicles to speed up unintentionally” (Nick Bunkley, 1/22). The recall covers over 2 million cars and trucks between model years 2005 and 2010, and is separate from the 4.2 million vehicle recall in November. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website has more detailed information regarding which cars are affected.

The November recall targeted a floor mat design flaw that could potentially cause the gas petal to become trapped, which was the suspected culprit in a fatal accident this summer in California. However, even after removing and replacing floor mats, reports of jammed petals continued to plague the automaker.

Two recent accidents in Texas and New Jersey have prompted the NHTSA to consider launching an investigation. Until Thursday, the automaker denied any mechanical or electronic problems with the gas pedal, but is now saying that in “rare instances” there may be a mechanical mechanism malfunction leading to gas pedals to get stuck accelerating.

Although Toyota seems to be making thorough and appropriate recalls, all consumers must be sure to have their recalled vehicles fixed as soon as possible. The issue plaguing Toyota vehicles is one that is more serious than many other recalls. Three major accidents in six months have occurred as a result. Therefore, as a personal injury attorney, I encourage all people to take whatever steps necessary to avoid possible fatal car accidents.

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January 10, 2010

FAA watching American Airlines Closely after several botched landings

CNN reports, “the FAA said Friday it is closely watching and reviewing American Airlines after the carrier had three landings go wrong in December (12/27, Ahlers and Alsup).” Between December 13 and 24, 3 American Airlines planes had incidents upon landing. The worst involved the December 24 landing of a Boeing 737 in Kingston, Jamaica, which overran a runway during a rainy landing injuring 91 passengers. The two other landing incidents involved planes landing in Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford stated that heightened scrutiny of airlines involved with several incidents over a short period of time is routine. American Airlines spokesperson stated that the airline intended to comply with all FAA demands.
The review, although routine after landing incidents, aims to determine if the incidents are “indicative of a larger issue.” As a personal injury attorney in Chicago, I am relieved to see the FAA taking regulatory action after three extremely close landing incidents with American Airlines.

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