Wife of Southlake driver who lost life slams Toyota

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by WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on February 4, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 4 at 11:48 PM

The wife of the driver of a 2008 Avalon that shot into a pond in Southlake and flipped, killing four people, said she believes quicker action by Toyota could have prevented the tragedy.

Linda Hardy's husband, Monty, was behind the wheel of his car that landed upside down in a small pond in Southlake.

She says three different times their car raced out of control.

Linda took their family car to the dealership last year and was told there was no problem.

Their 2008 Avalon is now on the list of recalled cars, needing to be fixed because the gas pedals can stick.

“Money can't bring back my husband. I just want Toyota to take care of these problems so no one else will die,” she said.

Toyota admits that it knew of the problem in October, two months before the accident that killed Monty but didn't say any anything publicly until this year.

What happened in here in North Texas is one of the reasons Toyota is now facing possible civil fines from the federal government and a rare get-tough policy.

“Our NHTSA people will continue to hold Toyota's feet to the fire to make sure that they're doing everything that they said they were going to do,” transportation secretary Ray LaHood said.

LaHood also announced an investigation into the electronics system that links the gas pedal, through a tiny computer, to the throttle.

Toyota's top executives say there is no electronic problem that could cause their cars to speed out of control.

“I'm confident there are no electronic problems,” Jim Lentz said.

The secretary of transportation is not so confident.

A former Toyota lawyer also says officials in Tokyo gave orders to hide evidence of defects that could damage the company. He and Toyota are suing each other. He's asking a federal judge to make public documents he says will prove Toyota hid evidence in court.

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