The seatbelts in RAV4, RAV4 EV, and Vanguard vehicles could fail during a crash, which will likely mean more serious injuries in the event of an accident. Rear seat belts in the vehicles could be cut by metal seat-cushion frames in severe front crashes and fail to restrain passengers. The recall comes after rear seat belts separated in a fatal accident in Canada and during a crash that injured a passenger in the U.S.
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death, and wearing a seat belt is one of the most effective ways to protect passengers from harm with minimal effort. Seatbelts can reduce the risk of death or serious injury in a car crash by half, which is a primary reason that the Rules of the Road require drivers and passengers to wear them. If a seatbelt does not work properly during a crash, like in these Toyota vehicles, your risk of serious injury or death increases greatly.
Toyota, which was once considered a reliable car company, has now become the unfortunate target of multiple recalls that interfere with customer safety. Over the past few years, Toyota recalled millions of cars worldwide due to defective airbags and malfunctioning power window switches. Recalls usually occur when a product does not comply with safety standards. In this instance, Toyota may be responsible for injuries that occur during car accidents if their seatbelt did not work properly in a wreck.
When someone is injured and needs to file a lawsuit against a large company because one of their products did not work correctly, that case is known as a product liability or defective product case. In those cases, a defective product—for example, a Toyota seatbelt—is responsible for causing someone to be hurt. These lawsuits take an enormous amount of investigation and a lawyer needs to know what information to ask for, obtain, and review. These cases also typically require experts to provide opinions about how the product should have been designed so that it was safe.
If you have one of the recalled Toyotas, or any other car that is subject to a recall, you should bring the car to a dealer so the manufacturer can repair, replace, or refund the vehicle. If you have been in an accident, if possible, there are certain steps you should take at the scene and after you leave the scene. If you believe that a defect in your vehicle caused you to get into an accident, contact us so we can evaluate your case.