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& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

U.S. closes product liability investigation of Toyota Corolla

The last two years for Toyota Motor Company has been fraught with huge recalls concerning products liability issues for its vehicles. Recently, car manufacturer regulators in the United States have not found any electronic steering mechanism defects in Toyota's Corollas and as a result have closed the products liability investigation.

The Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular cars sold in the United States and the car manufacturing company sold 266,000 Corollas last year only selling more of the company's line of Camry's. Drivers of Corollas produced during the years 2009 and 2010 complained about steering issues such as difficulty maintaining direction and drift at highway speeds.

The investigation of the Corolla's electronic power steering system began in 2009 and lasted for almost 15 months. The investigation was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was concluded at the beginning of last month. Soon after the redesigned electronic power steering system was introduced in 2009 complaints began to stream in about the level of attention required to keep the vehicle moving in the proper direction.

The car manufacturer first informed dealers to review the wheel alignment, tire pressure, wear and suspension of the vehicle for issues. If no issues were found, the dealers were instructed to replace the electronic steering unit's computer with an upgraded version of the computer that would make the steering feel less sensitive.

Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it did not find any defects, the Administration cautioned that the closure of the investigation does not mean a defect does not exist. The Administration plans to continue to monitor complaints and will take action if required.

Source: Thomson Reuters New & Insight, "U.S. closes investigation of Toyota Corolla steering," 5/20/11

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