If you have been following recalls and problems with vehicles in the news, then you may recall a case in which a family claimed that two young children were badly hurt as a result of front seats that collapsed backwards in a collision. The case, which was tried in Texas, resulted in Toyota being found grossly negligent, failing to warn consumers that their vehicle’s front seats could collapse backwards in some serious rear-end collisions at high speeds.
According to the story, the auto industry has known that front seats don’t hold up well in certain kinds of crashes when the vehicle is hit from the rear and at a high rate of speed. What’s most shocking is that the cost to fix the problem is only around $1 per seat; however, if the accident occurs without the fix, the injuries can be catastrophic.
The family that brought the lawsuit filed after a crash in which their two children were badly hurt in a rear-end collision. They had been stopped in traffic when an SUV slammed into the back of their vehicle while traveling approximately 45 mph. The front seats collapsed, resulting in both parents colliding head first into their children. Both children suffered brain injuries that are persisting.
The jury was convinced of Toyota’s negligence in this case and awarded the family over $242 million as a result. The civil jury claimed that there was clear and convincing evidence of the company’s gross negligence. This is not the first time Toyota has been accused in a case like this, and it’s something to remember if you suffer in a similar collision.