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Car Accidents Caused by Defective Accelerator Pedals

Defective accelerator pedals are an issue that have plagued automobile manufacturers for many years, and can be the cause of very serious accidents and injuries. Many consumers remember when millions of Toyota cars and trucks were recalled in 2009 and 2010 because of unintended acceleration. Here we will provide some additional information about car accidents caused by defective gas pedals.

Defective Gas Pedal Recalls

Unintentional acceleration, also known as sudden acceleration, may be caused by floor mats that ride up to depress the accelerator pedals, frictional wear in the brake system, defective electronic controls, sticking accelerator pedals, or electromagnetic interference. Generally, failures are intermittent, and the conditions under which failures occur are hard to repeat, meaning evidence of exact cause is often hard to find. If your gas pedal ever gets stuck, here is what you need to do:

  1. Firmly hit the brakes.
  2. Put your car in neutral without taking your foot off the brake.
  3. Bring your car to a full stop and turn the engine off.

When you do this maneuver, it is important that you do not release the brake once you begin decelerating. Power brakes work off engine vacuum, and you do not build any vacuum when the engine throttle is wide open. If you lift off of the brake pedal, you will lose your vacuum power-assist, causing your brakes to get very hard and stiff.

Gas Pedal Recalls in the News

Toyota’s issues with defective accelerator pedals have not stopped other faulty pedals from entering the market. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), even though 40% of the complaints it has received regarding defective gas pedals involved Toyota vehicles, several other vehicle manufacturers have had the problem as well.  In 2015, KIA announced a gas pedal recall of over 200,000 vehicles because of problems with the accelerator pedal. The Kia vehicles are being recalled due to an issue with a section of the accelerator pedal that may bend and fracture. 

Sudden and unintended acceleration can cause many types of accidents, ranging from traffic collisions to drivers slamming into buildings, trees, parked cars, and pedestrians. With the defective Toyota vehicles, there were hundreds of crashes caused by stuck acceleration pedals that are believed to have resulted in 89 deaths and dozens of injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, burn injuries, and amputations.

Following the unprecedented Toyota recall, the NHTSA conducted months of research to determine how to prevent similar future car defects.  The research included better car design to regarding gas pedals and floor mat placement, as well as the efficacy and security of electronic control systems. The NHTSA proposed requiring brake override systems and the installation of event data systems, commonly known as the car's black box, which essentially activates if you brake suddenly or are involved in a serious car accident. 

Contact KWF After a Defective Vehicle Car Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a defective accelerator pedal, please contact the legal team at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers at (404) 461-0101. Our attorneys can help determine if the vehicle was subject to a recall or should have been subject to a recall. After a thorough investigation, we’ll explain your legal options and work to hold liable parties accountable for your damages.

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