Toyota: Road to recall

Toyota: Road to recall

Most news organizations reported Toyota’s Sept. 29, 2009, decision to recall nearly 4 million vehicles to prevent floor mats from trapping gas pedals open, causing sudden acceleration, and left it at that. Times reporters Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian took a harder look. Their 2009 stories proved prescient when, early in 2010, Toyota announced that sticking gas pedals were also at fault and federal investigators began looking at other causes. Bensinger and Vartabedian were named finalists for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting.

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Date By Articles
Dec. 26, 2012 W. J. Hennigan Toyota settlement in sudden-acceleration case will top $1 billion
Toyota Motor Co. has announced an agreement worth more than $1 billion to settle a lawsuit involving unintended acceleration in some of its vehicles.
Aug. 31, 2010 Ken Bensinger Texas Supreme Court rules against Toyota in rollover case
The carmaker is ordered to face contempt charges in a suit filed by a paralyzed woman who received a $1.5-million settlement. She now says she settled only because the firm withheld documents.
Aug. 18, 2010 Ralph Vartabedian Safety regulators subpoena 'black box' data from Toyota truck involved in fatal crash
The subpoena is issued to William Rosenbluth, an expert in black boxes, who obtained the event data recorder from the family of victim Christopher Eves.
Aug. 11, 2010 Ken Bensinger Toyota data recorders reveal no new causes of sudden acceleration
A review of 'black box' recorders from 58 vehicles in accidents blamed on unintended acceleration did not find any new safety defects, federal regulators tell Congress.
Aug. 5, 2010 W. J. Hennigan Toyota posts $2.2 billion quarterly profit
Despite the double whammy of the economic downturn and ongoing safety recalls, Toyota Motor Corp. has made its biggest profit in two years.
Aug. 2, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Stuart Pfeifer Toyota sudden acceleration reports date to 2003
Documents filed in new lawsuits against the automaker show it received reports of at least six incidents before massive recalls began last year. Plaintiffs attorneys say they prove Toyota was aware of defects.
July 20, 2010 Ken Bensinger Toyota subpoenaed again, this time over faulty steering components
Grand jury seeks documents related to steering relay rods, which are crucial to the handling and control of vehicles, as investigations into sudden acceleration and other safety matters continue.
July 12, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Auto safety bill is scaled back in face of industry opposition
Lawmakers acknowledge changes to the legislation that was prompted by Toyota's sudden-acceleration crisis but say it sets realistic goals.
July 1, 2010 Times Staff Toyota reveals Lexus engine troubles
About 270,000 vehicles sold worldwide -- involving as many as seven Lexus models and one Toyota -- have faulty engines that could stall. No accidents have been linked to the problem.
June 26, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota recalls Lexus HS 250h hybrid, halts sales
After government tests show the hybrid could leak fuel in a rear-end collision, Toyota stops all sales and recalls 17,000 sedans, including 4,000 at dealerships.
June 18, 2010 Jerry Hirsch U.S. auto quality tops imports in J.D. Power survey
Ford and GM lead the way as domestic carmakers claim superiority for the first time in the initial quality survey's 24 years. Toyota's slide helps.
June 18, 2010 Stuart Pfeifer Evidence shows tenacity of plaintiffs' attorney in Toyota case
Mark P. Robinson Jr., a co-lead counsel in the lawsuits facing the carmaker over alleged sudden unintended acceleration, has a history of doing what it takes to get the proof and win in court.
June 5, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Chrysler's swift recall shows effect of Toyota PR debacle
The automaker acts quickly to recall about 25,000 Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass vehicles after NHTSA received complaints about sticky gas pedals.
May 28, 2010 Stuart Pfeifer Judge orders Toyota to turn over documents to plaintiffs' lawyers
Ruling gives the automaker 30 days to provide thousands of pages of records to Toyota owners alleging sudden-acceleration problems.
May 25, 2010 Nathan Olivarez-Giles Toyota halts sales of Lexus LS 460 and LS 600h sedans
The company recalls 11,500 of the 2009-10 vehicles, including 4,000 sold in the U.S., after reports of the steering wheel falling out of alignment. No remedy is expected until late June.
May 23, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota took cost-cutting approach on lurching Lexus models, records show
Five months before the new 2002 Lexus ES hit showroom floors, the company's U.S. engineers sent a test report to Toyota City in Japan: The luxury sedan shifted gears so roughly that it was "not acceptable for production."
May 20, 2010 Jim Puzzanghera Toyota's acceleration testing still inadequate, House members say
The automaker's assertions that 'extensive testing' has been conducted for electronic defects 'don't appear to be true,' Rep. Henry Waxman says.
May 15, 2010 Stuart Pfeifer Judge selects lawyers in Toyota litigation
A federal judge in Santa Ana appointed four attorneys Friday to oversee hundreds of lawsuits accusing Toyota Motor Corp. of selling dangerous vehicles.
May 12, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota reports fiscal-year profit of $2.3 billion
The carmaker rides cost-cutting and a rebounding economy to an annual profit despite an expensive litany of troubles in the last year.
May 11, 2010 John M. Glionna, Yuriko Nagano, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota 4Runner SUVs and T100 trucks in safety probe
The U.S. is examining whether the automaker delayed disclosing a serious steering defect. The announcement came while Transportation chief Ray LaHood was meeting in Japan with Toyota's president.
May 10, 2010 John M. Glionna, Yuriko Nagano Toyota chief, LaHood vow to improve communication
After a "frank dialogue," the U.S. transportation secretary praises the automaker's efforts to boost safety.
May 8, 2010 Shawn Langlois Consumer Reports lifts Lexus GX 460 'do not buy' rating
Hey, Lexus drivers, remember that red flag a few weeks ago? No, not about sticky gas pedals. The one from Consumer Reports about your SUV possibly flipping over?
May 8, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Transportation chief Ray LaHood to meet with Toyota President Akio Toyoda in Japan
LaHood says he plans to deliver a stern message that the U.S. will not tolerate violations of safety laws that jeopardize the public.
May 7, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian NHTSA official offers lukewarm endorsement of auto safety bill
In surprisingly brief comments to a House panel, David Strickland said the proposed law would strengthen the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but its input on the measure wasn't sought.
April 30, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian House bill takes aim at auto safety defects
Responding to Toyota’s sudden acceleration crisis, a House committee is preparing legislation that would reshape auto safety regulations and boost potential fines for violations.
April 29, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota resumes selling recalled Lexus GX 460 SUV
The automaker had halted sales of the 2010 GX 460 because of a problem with stability control that Consumer Reports had identified. It says it is contacting owners to update software.
April 28, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota's recall of 2003 Sequoia SUVs highlights a disparity
Some drivers can find themselves paying to fix a defect that the automaker has known about for years and has repaired for others at no cost.
April 19, 2010 Gerrick D. Kennedy Toyota agrees to pay fine of $16.4 million, to recall Lexus GX 460
April 19, 2010 Ken Bensinger Toyota will recall Lexus GX460, DOT officials say
April 17, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota verifies flaw in Lexus SUV
The carmaker says it's looking for a fix to the SUV rollover issue in the GX 460. Separately, it will recall 600,000 Sienna minivans over potential corrosion in the cable securing the spare tire.
April 15, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota delayed Venza recall in U.S. for six weeks, records show
The automaker had recalled the vehicle in Canada on Dec. 16 to address floor-mat and gas-pedal problems. It issued a similar recall in the U.S. on Jan. 27. The delay has caught regulators' attention.
April 15, 2010 Tiffany Hsu Toyota testing all of its SUVs in wake of Consumer Reports' warning
Troubled carmaker says it will study the entire lineup for stability control. The move comes after the magazine's warning about the 2010 Lexus GX 460.
April 14, 2010 Jerry Hirsch, Tiffany Hsu Toyota moves to control damage from Consumer Reports' Lexus warning
The automaker's swift reaction in the wake of a series of large recalls is expected to set a precedent for other manufacturers who find themselves in similar situations.
April 13, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota temporarily halts sale of Lexus GX 460 SUV
The move comes after Consumer Reports says the vehicle is susceptible to rollover accidents and federal safety regulators urge drivers to use extra caution in operating it.
April 10, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian U.S. weighs second penalty against Toyota
Federal safety regulators find that 'two separate defects' exist in sticking accelerator pedals, but that the ongoing recall may address only one.
April 9, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Lawsuits against Toyota are consolidated
More than 150 cases claiming both economic damage and personal injury will be heard together in a federal courtroom in Santa Ana.
April 8, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota execs debated when to disclose accelerator-pedal problem
April 8, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota response to complaints takes on a confrontational tone
Special teams are sent to investigate, and sometimes discredit, reported problems.
April 6, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian U.S. seeks to hit Toyota with top fine for delays in disclosing problems
Transportation Department looks to levy the maximum civil fine of $16.4 million against Toyota for delays in notifying authorities about defects in its gas pedals.
April 6, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota extends sales incentives
The carmaker says it will now offer financing and lease specials through May 3. The deals launched an incentive war last month and sent auto sales soaring, but they threaten to hurt profits.
April 2, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Sales rev up big time for Ford, Toyota, GM
A price war and pent-up demand fuel a 24% rise industrywide.
March 29, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota's acceleration woes part of two new inquiries
A National Academy of Sciences investigation will scrutinize electronic controls in all vehicles.
March 26, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota names chief quality officer for North America
Steve St. Angelo, a veteran executive, will lead a group to improve vehicle quality while giving North American operations more autonomy in a company known for Japan-centric decision-making.
March 26, 2010 Stuart Pfeifer Defendant blames Toyota runaway acceleration for fatal 2008 crash
Umni Suk Chung is charged with vehicular manslaughter. She said her Lexus RX 330 sped up -- even as she braked -- on the 10 Freeway in West Los Angeles.
March 25, 2010 Tony Perry Lawyers circle Toyota
In San Diego, 150 attorneys gather to plot strategy for what could be a deluge of lawsuits to come against the automaker.
March 25, 2010 Stuart Pfeifer Deaths blamed on Toyota sudden acceleration top 100
March 22, 2010 John M. Glionna Toyota Man's' conformist ways come under fire
Workers follow rigid military-style rules that teach them to sacrifice individuality for the good of the group. Their payback is job security, regular promotions and premium pay.
March 15, 2010 Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Tony Perry Results of Toyota's tests of runaway Prius 'inconsistent' with driver's account
The carmaker says it failed to reproduce the stuck accelerator that a motorist says took him on a wild ride near San Diego last week.
March 14, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota was asked in 2007 to consider installing software to prevent sudden acceleration
The automaker began installing the safety feature, known as brake override, only this January after a widely publicized accident involving a runaway Lexus ES that killed four people near San Diego.
March 13, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota disputes allegations that it withheld evidence
It tells Congress it has gone to great lengths to share information, but acknowledges the existence of the Books of Knowledge, or troves of technical information about its vehicles.
March 12, 2010 Tiffany Hsu Toyota aims for a surge in sales
The troubled automaker hopes to draw buyers this weekend with the help of an advertising blitz and big incentives.
March 12, 2010 Jim Puzzanghera Leader defends NHTSA's response to Toyota complaints
The agency investigated sudden-acceleration reports but didn't find enough evidence to force a recall, Administrator David Strickland tells a House subcommittee.
March 12, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota faces a growing number of probes in U.S.
The FBI, a U.S. attorney's office in New York, the SEC and even the L.A. city attorney have opened investigations of the Japanese automaker, adding to existing probes by Congress and regulators.
March 11, 2010 Nathan Olivarez-Giles Prius inquiry takes a detour
Rift over involvement of a congressman's aide in the runaway Toyota case in San Diego County causes an hours-long delay.
March 10, 2010 Richard Marosi, Nathan Olivarez-Giles Runaway Prius driver: 'I was laying on the brakes but it wasn't slowing down'
Regulators and Toyota say they'll investigate James Sikes' wild ride east of San Diego, where he reached speeds of 90 mph weaving in and out of traffic before a CHP officer came to his aid.
March 9, 2010 Nathan Olivarez-Giles Runaway Prius hits 90 mph before stopping with aid of CHP
A stuck accelerator takes the Toyota hybrid to 90 mph on Interstate 8 in San Diego County before an officer helps out.
March 8, 2010 John M. Glionna Toyota workers raised safety concerns with bosses in 2006 memo
The notice told of worries about employees and vehicles over the automaker's push to trim costs and boost production.
March 8, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota attacks claim of defect found in electronics
The automaker brings out a panel of experts at its Torrance facility to debunk the findings of a professor trying to determine the cause of unintended acceleration.
March 6, 2010 Jerry Hirsch, Jim Puzzanghera Lawmakers want Toyota to disclose results of electronics tests
Reps. Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak express skepticism about the automaker's explanation for sudden acceleration and say they want to interview its employees. Toyota says it will cooperate.
March 5, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian More owners of Toyota vehicles say recall repairs aren't working
Some of the more than 60 drivers reporting incidents say sudden unintended acceleration has happened to them more than once since having modifications done at dealers.
March 4, 2010 Tiffany Hsu Toyota offers workers bonuses at California factory slated to close
The carmaker offers $250 million in 'rewards' to 5,000 employees who remain on their jobs at the Fremont plant through the end of the month, when operations are scheduled to cease.
March 4, 2010 John M. Glionna Tense times in Toyota City
The Japanese carmaker's corporate home town is reeling from recession and recalls.
March 3, 2010 Stuart Pfeifer Toyota sued over August crash that killed CHP officer and three family members
After that incident, the automaker recalled millions of cars to replace floor mats that it said could cause the accelerator to jam.
March 3, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Jim Puzzanghera Calls grow for throttle safeguard
All new cars should be required to have brake override systems, a key senator says at Toyota hearings.
March 3, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota's fix is a bust, owners claim
New complaints allege sudden acceleration and other problems after recall work.
March 3, 2010 Nathan Olivarez-Giles offers $1-million prize for Toyota fix
The auto information and pricing company is launching a public competition to find a solution to the carmaker's unintended-acceleration problem.
March 2, 2010 Jessica Guynn Toyota, looking for positive spin, turns to Twitter [Updated]
March 2, 2010 David Pierson Toyota chief apologizes in Beijing
Holding a news conference in the world's largest car market, Akio Toyoda says safety problems stemmed from a company that was expanding too fast.
March 2, 2010 Jessica Guynn Toyota, looking for positive spin, turns to Twitter [Updated]
Feb. 28, 2010 PHOTOS: Toyotas, fatalities and sudden acceleration
Feb. 28, 2010 Christopher Knight Toyota showroom faces a morbid museum
Feb. 28, 2010 Robert Faturechi, Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams Toyotas, deaths and sudden acceleration
Feb. 28, 2010 Robert Faturechi, Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams Like a car on a slingshot'
At least 56 people have died in Toyota accidents in which sudden acceleration has been alleged.
Feb. 27, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota 'deliberately withheld' evidence in safety lawsuits, House panel says
Memos from a former Toyota lawyer describe failure to produce evidence in vehicle rollover lawsuits, says the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Feb. 27, 2010 John M. Glionna, Jerry Hirsch U.S. is cast as villain in Japan
Some believe Toyota is being treated unfairly by regulators and lawmakers.
Feb. 26, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Lawmakers just getting started on scrutiny of Toyota
More hearings examining the automaker and the agency that oversees it are planned in coming weeks, and legislation to beef up regulation is likely.
Feb. 25, 2010 Michael Muskal, Jim Puzzanghera Toyota president apologizes at House hearing
I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick,' says Akio Toyoda, on the second day of hearings on the automaker's safety problems.
Feb. 23, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota's rivals rush to fill void
With owners' loyalty to the Japanese giant shaken, other brands boost market share.
Feb. 23, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota's fractured structure may be at root of safety problems
The uncoordinated response to problems resulted from a diffuse organization, former company insiders say.
Feb. 23, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota gets two subpoenas as sudden acceleration complaints pile up
There might have been 2,600 incidents of unintended acceleration in the last decade, about 600 more than the number of complaints filed by Toyota owners to federal regulators, a House committee says.
Feb. 23, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Electronics could be factor in Toyotas' sudden acceleration, executive admits
Testifying before a congressional panel, the carmaker's top U.S. sales executive apologizes for a series of missteps that allowed the problem to go unchecked for years.
Feb. 23, 2010 Walter Hamilton, Kathleen Hennessey Execs can't win in testifying on Capitol Hill
Toyota's president is likely to learn what other corporate kings have when appearing at congressional hearings.
Feb. 23, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota plans to put brake overrides in new vehicles
By the end of 2010, the firm will begin installing a system that shuts down the engine when the brake and gas pedals are pressed simultaneously. It's an extra safeguard against sudden acceleration.
Feb. 22, 2010 Ken Bensinger Toyota tried to cut costs on recalls
A company document touts successes in limiting regulators' safety actions -- months before the sudden-acceleration problem was widely known outside of Toyota and the federal highway regulatory agency.
Feb. 19, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Jerry Hirsch, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota president to testify before Congress
After indicating at first he would not appear, Akio Toyoda gets a personal invitation from the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and agrees to testify next week.
Feb. 19, 2010 Tiffany Hsu Toyota repairs are humming
Dealers have begun software updates on recalled Priuses.
Feb. 18, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota calls in Exponent Inc. as hired gun
The California engineering firm is known for helping big corporations weather messy disputes. It denies accusations that it skews results to benefit its clients.
Feb. 17, 2010 Coco Masters, Jim Puzzanghera Next up for Toyota: A possible recall of Corollas
Complaints about model's power steering may prompt action. Akio Toyoda, the company's top official, says he won't appear before Congress.
Feb. 17, 2010 Coco Masters Toyota considering Corolla recall
Auto company is probing customer complaints related to subcompact's power steering. A brake-override system will be fitted to all new models, Toyota president Akio Toyoda confirmed.
Feb. 15, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota faces new reports of sudden-acceleration deaths
Complaints citing the defect in at least 13 fatalities have poured in to federal regulators since recalls were first announced, bringing the total to 34.
Feb. 12, 2010 Ken Bensinger More Q&A with Ken Bensinger on Toyota
Feb. 12, 2010 Jerry Hirsch, Stuart Pfeifer Toyota faces massive legal liability
Legal expenses and damages could add billions to Toyota's recall costs, with dozens of suits pending over injuries and deaths and at least 30 seeking class-action status over lost use of vehicles.
Feb. 10, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota may redesign push-button ignition
The troubled automaker says it is moving closer to adopting changes to its keyless starter system, a potential factor in sudden acceleration.
Feb. 9, 2010 Sharon Bernstein Toyota faces a massive marketing challenge
To win back confidence in its vehicles' safety as worries grow of further bad news, the automaker must embrace a rapidly evolving strategy and reach out boldly to consumers, crisis experts say.
Feb. 7, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Congressional committees gearing up for Toyota hearings
Investigators will focus on discrepancies in the automaker's explanation of the sudden-acceleration problem and examine the regulatory role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Feb. 6, 2010 Jerry Hirsch, Coco Masters Toyota president issues rare apology as pressure mounts
Akio Toyoda announces a task force to improve quality, but bristles at suggestions that the automaker was trying to cover up problems and that he should have personally addressed the issue earlier.
Feb. 5, 2010 Coco Masters, Jim Puzzanghera Toyota chief apologizes for recalls
I am deeply sorry about the inconvenience and concern caused to our customers and others,' says Akio Toyoda, who did not announce a Prius recall. 'I regret this more than anything.'
Feb. 4, 2010 Tiffany Hsu Prius concerns arise as Toyota dealers fix other models
Owners complain of problems with the brakes, the lights and unexpected reversal.
Feb. 3, 2010 Jessica Guynn Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says his Toyota Prius accelerates on its own
Feb. 3, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota probes take a new turn
Investigations are focusing on electronic throttle systems.
Feb. 3, 2010 Jerry Hirsch, Jim Puzzanghera LaHood says regulators are investigating Toyota Prius brakes
The Transportation secretary also defends the government's inquiry into sudden acceleration in other models. He backs off an earlier statement telling owners to stop driving the recalled vehicles.
Feb. 2, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Disputed Toyota documents could shed light on safety accusations
An arbitrator is asked to unseal the documents in a federal case in which a former company lawyer claims the automaker concealed evidence.
Jan. 30, 2010 Nathan Olivarez-Giles What Toyota owners should know
Toyota Motor Corp. recalled and halted sales of eight models because of a design flaw. Here is what the automaker and consumer experts think Toyota owners should know.
Jan. 30, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Doubt cast on Toyota's decision to blame sudden acceleration on gas pedal defect
The pedal maker denies that its products are at fault. Some independent safety experts also are skeptical of Toyota's explanations. 'We know this recall is a red herring,' one says.
Jan. 28, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota's gas-pedal problems grow
The carmaker adds 1.1 million more vehicles to its floor mat recall and comes under increasing scrutiny for its handling of the matter. A congressional panel plans an investigation.
Jan. 28, 2010 Jerry Hirsch Toyota recall Q & A: What to do if your car suddenly accelerates
As the automaker halts sales and production of certain models and attempts to fix a gas-pedal design flaw, here's some advice for drivers in case of emergency.
Jan. 28, 2010 Jerry Hirsch, Nathan Olivarez-Giles Toyota in race to save its image
As safety issues tarnish the carmaker's golden image, rivals gear up to grab new customers.
Jan. 27, 2010 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota temporarily halts sales of eight models
The carmaker took the unprecedented action because the vehicles' gas pedals can get stuck and cause unwanted acceleration. Toyota will also stop making the cars and trucks Monday.
Dec. 8, 2009 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Study: Toyota received most complaints about sudden acceleration
Toyota was the target of 41% of all consumer complaints about the problem in 2008 cars, according to Consumer Reports. Ford received 28% of complaints.
Nov. 29, 2009 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Data point to Toyota's throttles, not floor mats
Amid widening concern over acceleration events, Toyota has cited 'floor mat entrapment.' But reports point to another potential cause: the electronic throttles that have replaced mechanical systems.
Nov. 7, 2009 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota is sued over concerns of sudden acceleration
A lawsuit filed Thursday by two Los Angeles County residents claims that the majority of Toyota and Lexus vehicles made since 2001 contain defective components that can cause unintended acceleration.
Nov. 5, 2009 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Regulators slam Toyota over 'no defect' claim
U.S. auto safety agency rebukes an assertion that it found nothing wrong in vehicles involved in a massive recall over incidents of unintended acceleration.
Oct. 18, 2009 Ken Bensinger, Ralph Vartabedian Toyota's runaway-car worries may not stop at floor mats
The 2009 Lexus ES 350 shot through suburban San Diego like a runaway missile, weaving at 120 miles an hour through rush hour freeway traffic as flames flashed from under the car.
Sept. 30, 2009 Ken Bensinger, Martin Zimmerman Toyota to recall 3.8 million vehicles
The move will address concerns that floor mats on the driver's side could cause the gas pedals to become stuck. Models affected include 2007-2010 Toyota Camrys and 2004-2009 Toyota Priuses.