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Dangerous auto defects threaten lives

Too many Pennsylvania residents are unaware that their vehicles have defective parts that could threaten their lives. Auto defects are not always apparent, even to those who build, distribute and sell the vehicles. Even when an issue is identified, the vehicle's manufacturer might not know how to fix the problem, and in the meantime, drivers could continue to put their lives at risk.

For instance, Toyota recently issued a recall on its Sienna minivan. Apparently, the sliding doors can open while the vehicle is in operation. The company says the recall affects approximately 744,000 of these vehicles, from year 2011 to year 2016. The company claims that this can happen only under certain conditions when completely closing and latching the doors is somehow impeded. This could cause a motor fuse to overload and the door to open.

A Toyota representative did not address questions concerning any accidents or injuries that may have resulted because of this defect. However, since Toyota does not currently have a "fix" for this issue, many people, including some here in Pennsylvania, could be forced to continue driving their Siennas despite the potential danger. In fact, the company will not be sending notifications to affected minivan owners until around the middle of Jan. 2017.

During this time, an accident could occur. Even if a passenger is properly restrained, having a door fly open while driving could cause the driver to lose control out of shock and fear, just as is possible with other auto defects. If an individual is injured or loses a family member in an accident cause by an auto defect, it would be beneficial to contact an attorney to discuss the legal options for restitution.

Source:, "Sienna minivan door opening while driving? There's a recall for that", Nov. 23, 2016

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