The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported on its website that about 1,000 new complaints on the Toyota Prius were sent to the agency.
At the same time, federal regulators also realized that the number of complaints of estimated death related with the gas problem happening in all Toyota vehicles has increased significantly as they push their analysis.
Due to the sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles, 13 people died and 10 injured in crashes in the United States since January 27. It means that 34 deaths alleged in Toyotas since 2000.
Between 2000 and 2009, there were about 21 deaths in Toyota vehicles, six of which were reported in the end of 2009 just after the Japanese automaker made its recall. This number of deaths, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the committees investigating Toyota's recall woes, is higher than that happened in other car producers combined.
On Monday Feb. 15, spokesman for Toyota Corporation Martha Voss said in her statement that the company will be taking the complaints from their customers seriously and will be working quickly on any safety issues they identify.
Meanwhile, NHTSA is quickly investigating the complaints that the agency received in the recent time. Possible causes, including electronic problems, will be examined by the agency.
Some months ago, Toyota made its first recall to 5.4 million vehicles in the U.S. as gas pedals became stuck under floor mats, resulting in sudden speeding up. Such acceleration also led to crashes and even deaths. On Jan. 21, Toyota Motor Corporation made a second recall to its 2.3 million vehicles in the United States saying that vehicle owners should fix their gas pedals with mechanical problems which made their cars stuck. After that, the company announced its dealers in America to halt sales of eight models in the second recall list and stopped production at six North American assembly plants for a week.
Last week, Toyota made another recall to its 437,000 Prius owner and other hybrids on braking problems. Around 1,000 complaints were sent to NHTSA related with this mechanical error.
On Feb. 3, the agency received 124 consumer complaints and on Feb. 11, the number increased to 996 complaints including 34 deaths and 6 injuries.
On Feb. 24, congressional hearings will be held and the Japanese auto giant will have to answer questions on its handling of the recalls.