Girardi | Keese

Millions of Prius vehicles recalled because of defective parts

In the time between 2009 and 2011, owners of the newly popular Prius hybrid car were alarmed when dozens of accident reports cropped up across the nation from owners whose gas peddles would stick without warning, causing many vehicles to collide with other vehicles. But after an extensive investigation and an even larger recall, many people's worries were put at ease.

Now, a year later, owners of the new Prius models who thought that their worries were behind them got another wave of bad news when Toyota announced another round of recalls, this time because of a problem with the vehicle's steering and water pump systems.

According to the car manufacturer, the auto defect has not led to any accidents at this time. But with a reported 2.76 million vehicles being recalled worldwide, many critics have pointed out that it's just a matter of time before someone is hurt because of an accident caused by another defective Toyota car.

Toyota insists, however, that they have been obsessively monitoring production on all of their models of vehicles so as to insure that potential problems don't arise again. An auto analyst from Deutsche Securities suggests that this recent recall is Toyota's attempt to take a more aggressive stance to addressing defects.

If the 2009 to 2011 recall is any indication of foreshadowing, the car manufacturer could see upwards of $500 million in recall costs. If people become fatally injured because of the defect though, the company could face millions more in civil suits filed against them.

Though it's uncertain at this time how this most recent recall will pan out, for many people across California and the rest of the nation, it has certainly cast doubt on the company's ability to provide safe vehicles for consumers to drive.

Source: Reuters News, "Toyota to recall 2.8 million vehicles for steering glitch," Yoko Kubota, Nov. 14, 2012

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