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Toyota 4-Runner and Other SUV Rollover Cases

Toyota issues recall announcement affecting 880,000 vehicles

May 2005-Toyota Motor Corp. said it is recalling about 880,000 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks worldwide because of a defect that could affect steering. In the United States, 774,856 Toyota SUVs and pickup trucks have been recalled, including the 2001-2004 model years of the Tacoma, the 2001-2002 versions of the 4Runner and the 2002-2004 model years of the Tundra and Sequoia. Toyota's recall announcement also affects 22,000 vehicles in Japan, 22,000 vehicles in Europe, 14,000 vehicles in Australia and 10,800 vehicles throughout the rest of the world. Read More

Ford Rollover

"Industry seal on SUV rollover documents challenged"

December 2 , 2005

Trial lawyers for Public Justice and consumer watchdog group Public Citizen filed a legal challenge today to a Florida court order sealing "smoking gun" exhibits from a SUV rollover case decided last spring involving fatal injuries. At the request of Ford, documents showing that throughout the late 1990s Ford weakened the roof of its popular Ford Explorer SUV and has an extremely low margin of safety in rollover crashes have been sealed.

Rollover crashes account for one-third of all crash fatalities but comprise only 3 percent of total vehicle crashes. Public Citizen believes what automakers know about injury prevention in SUV rollovers should be fully disclosed and part of the public record in NHTSA's pending rulemaking.

The motion to unseal the trial exhibits asserts keeping them sealed violates Florida's Sunshine Act, which forbids court orders that conceal "public hazards." The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution also supports full disclosure by creating a strong presumption of public access to information brought to light in civil trials, according to Public Citizen.

Lead counsel for Public Citizen, TLPJ's Leslie Brueckner, said "to protect the safety of families who travel America's highways in SUVs, Florida's Sunshine Law and the First Amendment require that the shroud of secrecy be lifted from this key evidence."

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