Legal news for New York Product Liability Lawyers—Feds investigate fatal Lexus crash factors involving push start button.
New York, NY (NewYorkInjuryNews.com) — Toyota Corporation has been in the spotlight for floor mat hazards, and now for “instantaneous shut off device” buttons that officials are saying were also a contributing factor in the August 28, 2009 Lexus crash that killed California State troopers family members, announced the USA Today, October 29, 20009.
These new, improved ignitions “push-to-start” buttons in Toyota and Lexus vehicles lack an instant shut-off button”, which federal investigators cited that vehicles with this feature need a warning label. The warning label should state that a continuous push of 3 seconds of pressure on the button is needed to turn off the vehicle completely, which could be useful in an emergency situation.
Recent findings presented that this push-start button was a contributing factor in the California crash; where a State Trooper’s family was traveling in their Lexus ES 350, when the floor mat became stuck accelerating the vehicle. The family could not stop the vehicle before the crash, and killed all four people. This crash affected Toyota on a national level, which caused the Corporation put out a mass recall due to the floor mat’s sticking to the accelerating pedal.
Investigators claimed that this, along with other crashes, may be prevented with a warning label located near the ignition start button. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) www.nhtsa.gov clarified the new feature’s instruction for safety by stating that “in place of the key is a software push button that delays engine shutdown for three seconds once depressed. This instruction is not indicated on the dashboard.”
Since the recent recall of Toyota Corporation Lexus’s ES 350’s, the company was advised by NHTSA to include some instruction for the push button start. The government report also noted that Toyota doesn’t provide instructions about the three-second push in owners’ manuals for the cars.