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On November 17, 2015, I was driving my 2001 Toyota Highlander into a parking lot at a dental office. The parking lot was unlit, and it was a dark, rainy night. I hit a parking island and tried to stop. However, the Highlander's brakes failed and I lost control of the vehicle. She spun to the right, hit 2 parked vehicles, spinning them 90 degrees. Then she spun to the left and crashed dead on into a tree. I suffered injuries to my neck, shoulder, and left knee. The vehicle was totaled.
When the police came to the scene, they cited me for "careless driving." I have never had an at-fault accident in my life of over 43 years of driving. My insurance company had the vehicle towed and never checked for the cause of the accident, even though I asked them to on at least 3 occasions. Months later when they said this accident was my fault, I filed a complaint with the Oregon State Insurance Commissioner. This complaint caused the insurance company to research the Toyota brake failure problem. They said there was a recall for the brake master cylinder, but I never received a recall notice. I owned this vehicle for 10 years, from 2005 to 2015. I had it fully serviced and maintained. In fact, in just the week prior to the accident, I had it serviced and all fluids checked. My insurance company refunded me my deductible and changed the ruling to not my fault. However, I was out the cost of the ticket and driving school to get the moving violation removed from my DMV record. I also lost wages and live in constant pain.
I don't know if there is a class action suit against Toyota Motor Company for this brake failure problem and failure to notify vehicle owners, but if so, I want in on it. I want full compensation for my medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering for the rest of my life.
- Carol J.,