Toyotas Linked to 34 Deaths Since 2000
Total complaints grow by 1,000 in one week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2010 5:09 PM CST
On this Feb. 8, 2010, photo, s modified accelerator pedal from a Toyota 2007 Hybrid Camry is replaced at Jack Taylor's Alexandria Toyota-Scion in Alexandria, Va.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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(Newser) – Complaints of deaths connected to sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles has surged in recent weeks, with the alleged death toll since 2000 reaching 34, according to new data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While the government typically receives a surge in complaints following a recall, reports about the popular Toyota Prius hybrid jumped by nearly 1,000 in just over a week.

Toyota has recalled 8.5 million vehicles globally during the past 4 months. The new complaints reflect the heightened awareness among the public and underscore a flurry of lawsuits on behalf of drivers alleging deaths and injuries in Toyota crashes. In the past three weeks, consumers have told the government about nine crashes involving 13 alleged deaths between 2005 and 2010 due to accelerator problems, according to a NHTSA database. The latest complaints come on top of information from consumers alleging 21 deaths from 2000 to the end of last year.