The Lawyers Behind the Toyota Floor Mat Recall by vvq21088

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									The Lawyers Behind the Toyota Floor Mat Recall
Attorneys Mohinder Mann, Gary Mann and Louis Franecke litigate and settle the first successful
case against Toyota in 2008 for their defective runaway vehicles. The Manns and Franecke
began analyzing the reports and studying the evidence using their engineering and technological
backgrounds to piece together a possible explanation into what led to the Camry's rapid
acceleration. In April of 2008, less than six months after getting the case, the attorneys filed a
complaint in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of the Johnson family against Toyota.
Seven months later Toyota agreed to settle the case.
(PRWEB) February 12, 2010 -- The unprecedented recall of Toyota vehicles due to rapid acceleration problems
may have had its start in San Jose, California on July 26, 2007. On that fateful day, Troy Johnson was killed when
his vehicle was struck from behind by an out of control and runaway Toyota Camry. The driver of the Toyota
Camry stated that the accelerator had jammed and was speeding out-of-control at up to 120 miles (190 kilometers)
per hour before slamming into Johnson's vehicle, killing Johnson instantly. For the next several months,
investigators searched for evidence to charge the driver of the Camry with vehicular manslaughter because they
did not believe his story.



 During this same time period, San Jose attorneys Mohinder Mann and Gary Mann (The Mann Law Firm) along
with San Rafael, California engineer and attorney Louis Franecke were in the midst of a major trial against
Toyota Motor Corporation in an unrelated case, San Joaquin County (Singh v. Toyota Motor Corporation, Case
CV023159), when the family of Troy Johnson asked them to represent them in a lawsuit against Toyota. The
California Highway Patrol had just concluded its investigation in the Johnson collision and made no prosecutorial
recommendation in the case. In other words, the CHP could not say with certainty if the driver of the Camry
should be charged or if the driver should be cleared of wrong doing.

 The Manns and Franecke began analyzing the reports and studying the evidence using their engineering and
technological backgrounds to piece together a possible explanation into what led to the Camry's rapid
acceleration. In April of 2008, less than six months after getting the case, the attorneys filed a complaint in Santa
Clara County Superior Court, Case #108CV110696, on behalf of the Johnson family against Toyota.

 The police Traffic Collision Report identified, based upon the witnesses' testimony and their investigation, that
the cause of the stuck accelerator was the placement of Toyota All Weather mats on the driver's floor. The mats
slid forward and jammed the accelerator, preventing it from being released.

 The plaintiff attorneys hired a Collision Reconstruction Consultant whose job was to document all the evidence
for the pending litigation. Gary Mann and Franecke, along with their consultant, inspected the vehicle and
quickly discovered that the driver of the Toyota’s story was true. In nearly obscure writing, the mats had a phrase
written on them that they should not be placed on top of a carpet mat. "This looks more like an afterthought to
inform the public about the dangers of what could happen in the real world," said Mohinder Mann. "The question
is, did Toyota find problems with the mats in their testing and where are those test results?" "When did Toyota
know about the problem," asked Mann.

Mann knew that they might never find that answer. In their previous case against Toyota, Toyota’s engineer in

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Japan admitted that Toyota does not keep developmental design nor testing data with the exception of the
documents related to the final design. In a deposition of the Toyota engineer, the engineer acknowledged that only
the final test results that go to the NHTSA are saved. “Testing and documents compiled previous to the final
design including any alternative designs are not saved," said Gary Mann. “By not being able to look through the
alternative design considerations of Toyota, it is difficult to investigate what processes led to the final design that
is eventually sold to the public,” continued Gary Mann.

 The Mann Law Firm and Franecke got some answers from a September 26, 2007 letter from Toyota to the
NTSB, acknowledging that an unsecured All Weather Floor Mat can jam the accelerator pedal. In and around that
same time, Toyota issued a recall of the subject mats. One month later, an NHTSA summary showed a
compilation of unwanted acceleration due to defectively designed all weather floor mats in the Camry - 26
complaints resulting in 7 crashes and fires with 11 injuries and 1 fatality (Johnson) along with another 35
incidences reported.

 The Johnson case against Toyota would take less than 12 months to settle with an agreement of confidentiality. "I
believe that Toyota did not want to answer questions in this case," added Franecke. Those questions surround the
push button that kills the engine after it is held down continuously for 3 seconds. At 120 miles an hour, you can
travel 500 feet or nearly the distance of two football fields before the car coasts to a stop.

 Second, you cannot stop a vehicle with brakes if the accelerator is jammed. Each pump of the brakes is less
effective and the amount of force necessary to stop the wheels at 120 miles an hour is nearly impossible for most
drivers. You will fry the brakes as Mr. Gomez did in the Johnson case. Third, you cannot get the car out of gear.
In the Camry, once the car is moving and accelerator depressed you cannot get it out of gear. It is locked in and
won't move out of the automatic position. This is a transmission design. Placing torque on the accelerator will not
allow it to move out of gear. Lastly, attorneys Mann and Franecke were prepared to ask and delve into why the
Toyota accelerator jams so much? Was it a mechanical or electrical problem?

 Nearly all new cars today contain an event data recorder, called a black box, which can record several seconds of
key information when accidents occur or in other circumstances. According to Toyota, its black boxes can capture
vehicle speed, engine speed, brake pedal application, accelerator pedal position and seat belt usage, among other
things. Unlike other car manufacturers, Toyota's data recorders are extremely difficult, if not impossible for
non-Toyota personnel to read. Toyota says it has only one device in the U.S. that can read the data.

 Once the Johnson case was settled in November of 2008, news came from the San Diego area that a CHP officer
and his family lost their lives in a runaway Lexus. Speculation centered on the floor mats. Troy Johnson's widow,
Melanie, went public with her outrage that Toyota had failed to heed the warnings in the Johnson case and
allowed these suspect floor mats to cause more needless deaths. After weeks of posturing, changing positions and
uncertainty, Toyota finally acknowledged it had a problem and stopped the sales of new Toyota models and
issued a recall to fix the rapid acceleration problem.

 "We are not sure if Toyota is placing a band aid over a major problem," said Franecke. "Without access to test
results we're not sure if the problem is with the floor mats, the gas pedal or even a defective engine throttle control
system," added Franecke.

 Mann said, "Toyota needs to be forthcoming with all the testing data, and immediately fix the potential death
traps caused by sudden acceleration."
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Contact Information
EDWARD VASQUEZ
The Mann Law Firm
http://www.themannlawfirm.com
408-287-1600



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