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Automaker's Culture Led to Car Accidents and Injuries

This blog has frequently covered the topic of sudden acceleration car accidents associated with vehicles manufactured by Toyota. Recently, the automaker convened a panel to investigate internally what could have led to the problems that led to the recall of more than fourteen million vehicles and which hundreds of car accident lawsuits in Florida and across the country claim led to serious injuries.

The automaker's panel reached some very unflattering conclusions about Toyota's internal corporate culture, namely that the company had no clear procedures in place to deal with safety issues, coupled with a proclivity for dismissing complaints from customers about safety problems.

It was this attitude of defensiveness and skepticism that delayed a realization by the company that they really did have a problem with sudden acceleration, particularly related to sticking accelerator pedals and floor mats that could stick under acceleration pedals.

From an internal company standpoint, this was a particularly pointed failure, since the company previously believed that it was adept at detecting and responding to problems rapidly.

The panel found that a culture that was effective in good, stable times was unprepared and unable to adjust to a fast-moving crisis.

Miami car accident attorneys noted that the panel did not touch the topic of whether or not any failures in Toyota vehicles' electronic systems contributed to any of the sudden acceleration vehicle crashes. A Department of Transportation report ruled out problems in the vehicles' electronic systems as a cause of sudden accelerations. Many plaintiffs' lawyers have disagreed with the conclusion, but it is not surprising that Toyota has embraced that conclusion wholeheartedly.

Source: NYT Business "Recall Study Finds Flaws at Toyota" 5/23/2011

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