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Toyota Goes To Court For Scion Unintended Acceleration

Posted in auto industry, News, Recalls, Scion, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | March 30th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Toyota has seen the inside of a courtroom several times relating to the unintended acceleration (UA) of their cars. To date, three causes have been found for unintended acceleration: a sticking accelerator pedal, entrapment of the accelerator pedal by a floormat and driver error. Of the UA cases tried thus far, none have been brought before a jury, but that’s about to change: a New York jury will hear the case of Sitafalwalla versus Toyota this week. Amir Sitafalwalla, the plaintiff, claims that his 2005 Scion accelerated without driver input until it struck a tree. Sitafalwalla’s attorney claims the incident started when his client attempted to shift the car into park, at which time the vehicle “took off”. Toyota denies the claim and points out that the Scion in question was never part of any UA recall. Furthermore, the accident happened in 2005 but the lawsuit wasn’t filed until 2008.

Since the suit was filed three years after the accident, it’s unlikely that any data could be recovered from the vehicle, even if it were located. In the absence of concrete evidence, Toyota will argue that the crash was caused by the driver mistaking the gas for the brake while shifting into park. It’s not my call to make, since I’m not a member of the jury, but I’m inclined to side with Toyota on this one. It should be interesting to see if the jury feels the same way.

Source: Left Lane News


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4 Responses

  1. Nephilim says:

    Amir and his lawyer are looking for a payday. Three years later on a vehicle that was never recalled? Puhlease!

  2. Paul says:

    i have a 2005 scion xb that had an acceleration problem. Since the scion had to have an aftermarket cruise control installed as it was not standard equipment. the cruise control was installed as i was told, with a cam that was upside down. It was easy to fix and i only had a couple of close calls. It was very frightening experience when the car just took off and even with the break on it seemed to want to keep going. Once it was fixed it never happened again. Latter i had to have my automatic transmission replaced at about 65,000 miles. luckily i had a extended warranty. So i think it is possible to have a problem with a scion but my guess is a cruise control issue.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Paul, you raise an interesting point. If a third party cruise control was installed, any problems would be the fault of the manufacturer and the installer. It should be interesting to see how this case plays out.

  3. Toyota Place says:

    Toyota is world’s top most brand and the models of this company’s are very attractive and fully high featured. But this is tragic. However there are a lot of car manufacturers that do not provide car mats fitted correctly for the vehicle. In fact some do not even provide car mats as standard and is an additional extra. The consumer then purchases car mats off the shelf which do not fit. My feeling is that this should be legislation and car manufacturers should provide correctly fitted mats for their vehicles!