PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Toyota “ignored their own testing and field data” to make a 2006 Prius with a seat-belt system that “was incapable of properly restraining occupants,” a quadriplegic woman and her husband claim in state court.
Jacqueline McCosh, 63, received catastrophic spinal cord injuries when the Prius she was driving collided head-on with another vehicle.
She claims Toyota knew “that the driver’s occupant restraint system and seat-belt system had an unreasonable propensity to ‘spool out’ or permit intermittent release of webbing during collision.”
Japanese seat-belt manufacturer Tokai Rika and its U.S. subsidiary, TRAM, are also accused of acting “in conscious, reckless disregard or indifference to that risk and the safety and welfare of the American motoring public.”
The McCoshes claim the driver’s side seat-belt system lacked “a pretensioner application that remained locked with belt tension regardless of motion.” And they say the car had a “seat-belt retractor with a ‘load limiter’ without a stop mechanism” and inadequate airbags and interior padding.
They seek damages for strict liability, breach of warranty, negligence and loss of consortium. They are represented by Atlee, Hall & Brookhart of Lancaster, Pa.