I don't own a Toyota, but with everything I've heard and read as of late, I'd hate to be one of the high-end executives.
The horizon doesn't look rosy for the Japanese-based company.
If anything, Toyota is now a defenseless, wounded animal out in the wild, waiting with watchful eyes as the meat-eating beasts circle their prey.
Several unfortunate events are now taking place on two different fronts. Just two weeks after Toyota recalled 8 million vehicles because of sticky gas pedals, the company is now gearing up for a global recall of its new Prius model. Instead of the gas pedal issue, this line of hybrids has problems with delayed braking. Reuters reports that Toyota will officially launch the recall on Tuesday.
The second issue Toyota now faces is on the legal front. In a second report, Reuters said that at least 30 class-action lawsuits have been filed against the Japanese automaker since the original recall two weeks ago.
"This is just the beginning," said Mark Bunim of New York-based mediation firm Case Closure LLC. "There's going to be one of these cases in every town."
Given the state of the economy, that's a bad thing for Toyota. As I said before, the wounded company has found itself circled by legal hounds and highly ticked-off consumers. But who can blame them? If you had an accident because of faulty manufacturing, you can bet-- if you're still alive that is-- you'd find yourself in a lawyer's office suing the pants off the company.
Unfortunately, the lawsuits won't just deal with issues that have appeared over the last few weeks. Frank Pitre, a plaintiff lawyer at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, points out that there will be Toyota owners-- those who had an accident in the past few years-- that will wonder if the accidents stemmed from unintended acceleration, and will look into legal action.
To make matters worse, there's talk that Toyota knew about the acceleration problem and lied to the public to conceal the truth. If that's the case, if that is proved true in a court of law, then Toyota may end up closing its doors for good.
If you want to sue Toyota, you better get in line according to Reuters.