Reports on Toyota vehicle safety issues have continued to circulate, with the same problem of sudden acceleration remaining the focus. However, USA Today questioned whether or not the Prius would be recalled for braking delay problems. For some reason, Toyota just cannot get their act together. As issues are analyzed, it seems knowledge of the problem has been available since 2004 and things have been brushed aside. This is clearly not the way to handle serious safety issues. Although a Congressional investigation is underway to explore both the problems with Toyota and the response (or lack thereof) with the NHTSA, questions have been raised as to the level of connectivity that Toyota has within the legislative branch. Some members of the committee that will be reviewing the matter have both political and financial ties with Toyota. Thus, the integrity of the investigation is questionable, as analyzed by the Washington Post.
Additionally, Toyota has been scrutinized for recalling models in Europe five years ago. The Wall Street Journal questions why this occurred. Supposedly, Toyota did not receive a significant amount of complaints in the U.S. Clearly, only tragically fatal crashes are loud and clear enough for Toyota to be made aware of defects in their products. And at this point, it seems as if that is not even enough for them to take action.
As a result of Toyota’s failure to act, the company can expect to be overwhelmed with lawsuits. A Reuters article entitled "Suing Toyota? Take a Number and Get in Line" quotes Mark Bunim of a New York-based mediation firm saying, "This is just the beginning. There’s going to be one of these cases in every town." Bunim’s statement is a testament to the multitude of incidents that have occurred. Toyota will be digging deep into their pockets to make up for these offenses, and it’s high time they get held accountable.