Posted on 10 Feb 2010
Amidst consumer concerns regarding the recall of several Toyota vehicles, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) encourages Toyota owners to put safety first and follow the car manufacturers' instructions regarding the recalled vehicles.
“If Toyota drivers experience any issues with their accelerator pedal, they should contact their Toyota dealer without delay,” said Robert Passmore, senior director of claims for PCI.
In the event that a driver experiences an accelerator pedal that sticks or returns slowly to idle position, Toyota says the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.
“Consumer safety is a top concern for the insurance industry and we are encouraged that Toyota dealers nationwide are beginning to make repairs on the vehicles involved in the recall,” said Passmore. “However, if in the rare occurrence where the recalled part causes an accident, the driver’s automobile liability or physical damage insurance will provide coverage. This type of unforeseen event is what insurance is for. If the pedal is a factor, the insurer will pay the claim for the driver and then likely seek to be reimbursed by Toyota. This is one less thing for the consumer to worry about.”
There is also good news for consumers because a vehicle recall by itself will generally not cause insurance rates to increase. “Looking forward, it is unlikely that rates would be affected by the recall,” said Passmore. “Over the years Toyotas have developed a good safety record as evidenced by the popularity of their vehicles, so it is unlikely that there will be enough accidents caused by the faulty pedals that rates will increase. Insurers look at the cost of claims over a period of time for vehicle. They are interested in how much it costs to repair a vehicle and how often the vehicle is involved in an accident. The insurance industry is committed to standing by our customers and fulfilling our promises when we are most needed.”