Toyota anti-lock brake class-action lawsuit dismissed

A US district court judge in California threw out a class-action lawsuit from owners of Toyota Prius and Lexus HS 250h hybrids who had filed a claim against the Japanese automaker over a 2010 recall involving the vehicles’ anti-lock braking system, Bloomberg News reports.

In early 2010, Toyota – at the time also reeling from floormat/unintended acceleration issues involving both Toyota and Lexus models – said some Prius models sold in January of that year had a braking-system design issue that was later corrected.

The problem is that when braking at lower speeds (usually less than 30mph) and going over some rough road surface, the brakes may feel like they give out for a moment. The 1st time it is experienced it can be a little frightening especially if you are very close to a stop sign and need to stop. After a few times, the drama is gone since it always stops on time. After the recall the duration of the feeling that the brakes have just failed is shortened considerably, but it is not completely fixed.

The claim, made by four vehicle owners on behalf of the rest of the owners, related to a 2010 recall that involved a software update for the vehicles’ anti-lock brakes. The judge denied the claim because the plaintiffs suffered no injury, thus ending three years of litigation. A Toyota spokeswoman told Bloomberg News the company was “pleased” with the court’s decision.

Both the US and Japanese governments required Toyota to investigate the issue, which involved a short, temporary loss of braking during the transition between regenerative and friction brakes on slick or bumpy surfaces.