LOS ANGELES (CN) – Toyota rushed 2007 FJ Cruisers to market with defective windshields that crack and chip, and sells replacement windshields with the same defects, a class-action complaint claims in Superior Court. Plaintiffs claim the windshields “frequently crack without being exposed to any impact whatsoever” and that Toyota sells them through misleading ads though it knows they are defective.
Plaintiffs say the defects are “due in part to the fact that, to get the FJ Cruiser to market in record time, Toyota engineers knowingly violated strictly observed Toyota standards and engineering practices. Indeed, TMS’s (Toyota Motor Sales) National Manager for Product Planning, Mike O’Brien, has admitted that ‘there were so many of these violations that we committed that it caused the computer to lock up in Japan many times. But we were balancing the priority of usage and satisfaction of keeping the emotional aspect of the product intact.”
Plaintiffs, represented by Fazio, Micheletti of San Ramon, say Toyota knew, from its own product testing, that the windshields are defective, but sold them anyway, and falsely advertised the vehicles as “a vehicle that can take ‘the worst Mother Nature can throw at you.'”
Plaintiffs claim the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received numerous complaints about the flimsy windshields, and that Toyota knows about the problems from those complaints, “from its dealers, and from other internal sources; and its experience with similar problems in vehicles other than the FJ Cruiser, such as Toyota’s Scion xB sport utility vehicles.”