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Brett Emison
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Toyota Predicts Sales Jump Despite Gas Pedal Recall


Last week, Toyota expanded its massive sudden acceleration recall to include another 2.3 million vehicles, bringing the total number of vehicles recalled to 6.5 million. Just days later, USA Today reported that Toyota will expand the recall again to include up to 2 million European vehicles.

In spite of this critical safety defect, the Financial Times reports that Toyota predicts a global sales jump for its vehicles.

Toyota Motor, the world’s biggest carmaker, said on Tuesday that it expected to pull out of an unprecedented sales slump this year with projected volume growth of 6 per cent worldwide.


Toyota said it expects its sales expansion this year to be led by China, where it forecasts volume growth of 13 per cent. North American sales are projected to rebound by 11 per cent after the overall market hit multi-decade lows last year.

European sales were seen slumping by 5 per cent with the expiry of government subsidies that boosted demand in the second half of 2009.

One risk to Toyota’s recovery scenario is a widening recall to fix potentially faulty accelerator pedals. The company said on Tuesday it was considering adding European models to a recall of 2.3m vehicles in the US announced last week.

The US recall is Toyota’s second attempt to address reports of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration in its vehicles. The problem first drew wide notice in September after it was linked to the death of a California highway patrolman and three family members in a high-speed crash.

Toyota is still selling these defective vehicles to the public and plans to spur its global sales growth by continuing to sell recalled vehicles with known safety defects to the global — and including the American — public.

Toyota has identified a critical safety defect, but it continues to sell these cars. Toyota continues to put these cars on American roads and highways. Every day, unsuspecting Toyota owners place their families and children in these vehicles.

Why is Toyota permitted to continue to put these dangerous vehicles on American highways? How many people have to be injured or killed before Toyota finally pulls the vehicles off of the road? How can Toyota get away with continuing to sell defective vehicles subject to a recall?

Instead of fixing this deadly problem, Toyota ignored the problem for more than five years. Instead of acknowledging and — more importantly — fixing this widespread defect, Toyota instead blamed its own customers… calling these events "driver error."

Toyota has admitted it knew about the specific defect with its gas pedals last year — as Toyota was making "inaccurate and misleading" statements to the public about the severity of its sudden acceleration problem, yielding a strong rebuke from federal safety investigators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA"). This appears to be yet another notch in Toyota’s well-documented history of attempted cover-ups of safety problems.

If you or I acted this way we would be stopped and then we would be held accountable. Who is working to stop Toyota’s conduct? Who will make sure Toyota is held accountable?

I have been chronicling the Toyota sudden acceleration for months and you can learn more at our auto safety blog.

Learn more and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.


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  1. stu says:
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    Bret – Why dont you step out and try to make a mark for yourself. Stop following in your daddys folotsteps. It is embarassing for a grown man. You will never be near the lawyer Kent is.

  2. Brett Emison says:
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    Thank you for taking the time to both read my posting and offer your comments. I do agree with you that my father, Kent, is an outstanding attorney. If I am half the attorney he is, I will be extremely gratified. It is an honor working side-by-side with him — and with Bob Langdon — every day.

    I do not agree that I am merely “following in [my] daddys folotsteps” [spelling and grammatical mistakes yours] nor do I agree that practicing in this outstanding firm is any kind of embarrassment. I am confident in my skills as a trial lawyer and so are my clients.

    I enjoy practicing with my father in the firm I watched him build with Bob Langdon and where I grew up. I enjoy trying cases with my father, with Bob, and on my own as well.

    I also enjoyed working for the Honorable Ike Skelton, (D-Mo.), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in college; for Lynn Johnson and his outstanding law firm during law school; and, after becoming an attorney, working for the Honorable William Ray Price, Jr., Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri and working at a major Kansas City commercial litigation firm before joining Langdon & Emison.

    Stu — if that is your real name — on a personal note, before calling someone you apparently have never met an embarrassment of a grown man, it is best to take a moment to look over your comments to ensure proper spelling. Your third grade teacher would be ashamed (and that, most certainly, is embarrassing [two “r”s, Stu] for a grown man).

    Also, my name is Brett (two “t”s).

    Thanks again for taking the time to read.

  3. Doug says:
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    Your obvious anti Toyota bias shows through in nearly every sentence. I have knowledge of the REAL facts of all of this and I say, you are merely looking for work.

  4. Brett Emison says:
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    Doug – as with Stu, I thank you for taking the time to read my work. I am also heartened that you read “nearly every sentence”.

    However, your presumptions are incorrect. I do not have an anti-Toyota bias. I have simply reported facts. I did not make up or invent these facts. Indeed, I was not the original source with any fact and have cited to my sources. I encourage you — and all my readers — to read the original material.

    However, I must admit, the facts that have been reported do make me biased toward Toyota. I have not pre-judged. I have judged.

    I am biased against:
    – a company that hides a known defect from its customers for nearly a decade
    – a company that knows about a defect, but then lies to its customers and government safety inspectors
    – a company that denies a known defect and instead blames its own customers and “driver error”
    – a company that hides a defect for months because it doesn’t know what to do, even though it is killing people
    – a company that recalls vehicles for a safety defect, but then continues to sell these vehicles to the public

    On a slightly positive note, Toyota just tonight announced that it will finally stop selling these defective vehicles. (http://www.freep.com/article/20100126/BUSINESS01/100126058/1318/Toyota-halts-sale-of-8-models-over-sticky-pedals) Is Toyota now biased against itself?

    So, now that Toyota, itself, has acknowledge there is a massive problem and that its vehicles are too dangerous to sell to the public, what “REAL” facts do you have?

    You have so much “knowledge”, but you keep it to yourself. How unfair. You failed to reveal your secret REAL facts in your commentary.

    Perhaps, like Stu, you cowardly hide behind annonymity, false names and false email addresses (“annoyed@comcast.net”, huh?) to disparage someone you have never met.

    You say I am merely looking for work. Well, sir, you don’t know me and I don’t care too much for what you have to say.

    Thanks again for reading.

  5. Bret Hanna says:
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    Your post is spot on. This evening I received a “breaking news” e-mail on the sales stoppage and looked into a bit. The following vehicles are on the no sell list:

    2009-2010 RAV4,

    2009-2010 Corolla,

    2009-2010 Matrix,

    2005-2010 Avalon,

    Certain 2007-2010 Camry,

    2010 Highlander,

    2007-2010 Tundra,

    2008-2010 Sequoia

    Let’s hope Toyota can get to the bottom of this problem ASAP now that it seems, at long last, that the issue really has the attention of the company.

  6. Brad says:
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    I find stu’s comments particularly funny. In effect what he or she is saying is “you should be embarrased to work for such a successful law firm.”

    Stu – you’re a moron!!

  7. Brad says:
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    Now that Toyota has stopped selling eight of it’s models, I’m sure they would greatly appreciate it if you would share with them the “REAL facts.”

    According to reports they will be shutting down five production lines next week so I’m sure their employees would appreciate it too!

    I personally think it’s very irresponsible for you to withhold the “REAL facts” from Toyota and NHTSA when it’s having a very real economic impact for Toyota and a real safety impact for all of us on the road.

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    Dear Doug,

    Toyota has a reputation (mostly deserved) for making great cars. You don’t get that reputation by not listening to your customers’ complaints. However, I know some Toyota owners have complained (occasionally even to Injury Board and its members) about this sudden acceleration problem for several years.

    I feel assured in looking back at questions and emails about their efforts to “alert Toyota so this doesn’t happen to someone else,” etc., that these people were not looking to sue over their own driving errors.

    And the few lawyers who were trying to help them by trying to determine the cause of their sudden acceleration accidents weren’t “looking for work” – unless by “looking for work,” you mean “spending a pile of your own money and time investigating safety complaints where those with the information (Toyota) are doing everything they can to obscure it without getting paid” as seems to have been the case until recently.

    If Injury Board was hearing complaints about this (and I recall finding similar complaints on car owner message boards – not lawyer sites) years ago, is it plausible to you that Toyota was unaware of this problem until now? Why did it take so long to come public?

    How would you feel if your family was involved one of these accidents?