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Toyota Slapped With Class Action Lawsuit Over Sudden Acceleration Problems

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Lexus, Newsworthy, Safety, Scandal, Toyota by Suzanne Denbow | November 9th, 2009 | 10 Responses |

Economy Trade Deficit

You knew it was only a matter of time.

In response to the floor mat scandal that’s been slowly gaining steam at the Toyota camp, a group of enterprising ambulance chasers from the California-based law firm of McCuneWright, LLP have filed a class action lawsuit against the Japanese automaker. Spearheading the lawsuit are LA residents and Toyota owners Seong Bae Choi (2004 Camry) and Chris Chan Park (2008 FJ Cruiser) who claim they, along with thousands of other Toyota/Lexus owners, have experienced multiple instances of sudden acceleration.

While it would be convenient to dismiss the lawsuit as opportunistic and the representing firm as precisely what has attributed to America’s embarrassing, “victimized” reputation, the raw data certainly paints a very grim picture. Toyota has maintained that the problem is due to improperly secured floor mats, but the NHTSA has reported that a total of 16 fatalities and 243 injuries have been confirmed as a direct result of sudden unintentional acceleration in Toyota vehicles, which seems more serious than an interior accessory flaw.

“For years, Toyota Motor Corporation has dismissed complaints of sudden acceleration as being the driver’s fault,” said McCuneWright attorney, David Wright. “But neither driver error nor floor mats can explain away many other frightening instances of runaway Toyotas. Until the company acknowledges the real problem and fixes it, we worry that other preventable injuries and deaths will occur.” Continued Wright, “We think this lawsuit is necessary to save lives. Along with other individual lawsuits, the press, consumer groups, and the government, it is our goal to force Toyota to make these changes.”

Source: PR Newswire

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10 Responses

  1. Dustin May says:

    If I had a Toyota, I’d speed everywhere. If pulled over, I would just say it’s “unintentional acceleration” and show the cop this lawsuit. Then I would take my ticket and speed off…unintentionally, of course.

    I don’t own a Toyota, though.

  2. FYI says:

    How could Toyota/Lexus not include this simple safety override into their “drive-by-wire” system (when the Germans certainly did)…..?! And how could any such system be officially approved and certified without it by any manufacturer?

    Smart Gas Pedals May Solve Floor-Mat Problem
    By Christopher Jensen October 7, 2000


    (excerpts): Some automakers – primarily European — are using an unusual method to reduce the chances of unintended acceleration from something like a floor mat getting tangled up with the accelerator: smart gas pedals.

    If the vehicle is moving and both the gas and brake pedal are being pushed at the same time the computer tells the engine to ignore the gas pedal.

    “It is an additional safety feature,” said Thomas Plucinsky, a BMW spokesman. “The brake takes precedence.”

  3. had an accident friday nov 6th in a toyota runaway car. i pulled into a parking lot of a restaurant went over an uneven apron was riding my brake when the car accelerated my sister in law said it sounded like an airplane taking off. it hurled us out into traffic a buick hit me on the left spun me around and i was it by a handicapped van. my car was totaled. the van was totaled the seats were all twisted every window blew out my sister inlaw has 2 fractures in her right leg i am all bruised on my left side and i can hardly move my right leg. so much for the toyotas being a safe car

  4. John James says:

    July 22 this year my wife and I were driving a 2009 corolla on the highway at 90 km/hr. It took off when I hit resume on the cruise. No brakes and full acceleration. We had 8 seconds before we hit the truck ahead of us at 120 Km/hr. Toyota Canada contends nothing is wrong with the car and now refuses to talk with us. 2009 corollas are a new model year and have “fly by wire” accerator control. This had nothing to do with floor mats. We now drive a Honda Civic.

  5. Athina says:

    My parents took their brand new Toyota Corolla to Europe where they spend a few months each year. Who will look at it there if they fly off a mountain? They are now scared. They should be…

    I’m concerned because I had the same acceleration issue with my 2000 Lexus GS300 way before it became public. Here’s my post from Lemon Law:

    “I bought a 2000 Lexus GS300 certified pre-owned in 2005. In 2007 I experienced the now famous sudden acceleration problem and I took it to the dealer immediately. I was on a side street going 30-40mph. I accelerated to pass a car stopped on the side, but it kept accelerating. Went to 5RPM without the pedal. I was trying to slow down-so I slammed the brakes and hand brake – stopped before hitting cars- and I put it in “park” while the RPM was revving at 5-6. So I turned off the engine.Lexus tested it overnight and said they could not “reproduce the problem” therefore can only blame the mats. It did not happen again until Jan 2010…now driven by my daughter in college. She was on the highway and depressed the pedal all the way down. Then it kept accelerating. She panicked but at least she knew I went through this 2.5 yrs before. She stomped on the pedal and finally the car stopped accelerating. Again, no accident. I wonder why it happend only 2 times in the 5 years of ownership? It can’t be the mat. We removed it after the first incident. I called Flow Lexus in Greensboro again and they insist the 2000 GS300 is not part of the recall. They said again..it’s the mats. In 2007, I had this problem way before it became public and I was brushed off as being the only one they had heard of with this issue.”

  6. Steven Pagliaro says:

    I have a 2008 camry and the quick fix for my car is not the solution, I am still scared of driving this car. Please anyone know were I can sign up for this class action law suit please e mail me.
    Thank you.
    Steven Pagliaro

  7. charlie says:

    06 toyota 4runner. i pulled into a parking lot, started easing head forward into a parking space, with my foot on the brake the whole time, came up to about 4 ft from the building wall, while my foot was still on the brake, i started to shift into park, when all of a sudden it felt like the abs went out, & the engine reved way up, so of course i applied as much force as i could on the brake pedal, but the vec. felt like it was still going to launch forward since it felt like i had no brakes, this all happened in a split second so my hand continued to shift into park, & it locked in, but the engine continued to rev high, so i quickly turned the key off. my point is i thought that the engine was suppose to cut off at that point, it didnt. first off its not a mat under the pedal since my foot was on the brake, this all happened in a split second. but ill tell you, if i was parallel parking or stopped at a red light pulled up close to the other cars bumper, i believe i would of hit the car in front of me. remember, like i said it felt like i lost abs as the engine reved, & im pretty sure that those brakes would not of stopped me launching forward if i didnt ram it into park. waited 15 min. & started it up & nothing seemed wrong. ive read the threads on sudden acceleration but it seems like toyota chalks it up to mats making the gas pedal stick, i of course knew the pedal itself couldnt of frozen, again the mat didnt move & is anchored using floor hook,plus my foot was on the brake & i was easing forward. so im asking if anyone has heard of this? no its not about jumping on a law suit wagon, its about feeling safe.

  8. Melissa Lawson says:

    September 4th, 2010 My car had a sudden accelerator incident at a Circle K. Upon putting my vehicle in reverse it lurched back and smacked a cement pole so fast the reverse alarms never sounded. Upon putting my vehicle in drive, the car lurched forward toward the doors of the store. As I cranked the wheel as far to the right while right foot on brake pedal HARD it continued moving and I barely missed 3 parked cars. The next thought I was going to fly over cement parking blocks into a parking lot next door and drive into a tanning salon, as this thought past in my mind, I slammmed my left foot as hard as I could on the emergency brake while still pushing the brake down as hard as I could and it stopped against the cement blocks. My car was towed to a dealership 30 miles away, they gave me a rental per the MAIN toyota while the investigation was to go thru it’s motions. HOWEVER after the 3rd part investigator did the inspection on Friday the 24th a cocky service manager demanded I pick my car up and return the rental. I REFUSED but he was such a JERK insinuating I was the cause. REPEATINg my issue was exactly as I said and he continued to insult me. I DEMANDED they drive my vehicle back and retrieve the car.
    UPON receipt of my car they removed a plastic SAFE floor mat and threw it in my truck. I went to replace it and looked above my pedals AND THE COVER over all the mechanics WAS MISSING!!!!! Completely MISSINg and all the mechanics and wires exposed!!!! More dangerous then when it was brought to them. When I inquired via email he insisted ONlY the wheels were removed to inspect brakes…
    BULL!!!! I have uncovered 100’s of SAME STORIES since 1999 and TOYOTA knows full well. They Are allowing FATALITIES and letting the consumer take the rap and go to prison. WE MUST UNITE AND STOP THIS MURDER!!!!!!

    Contact me at Luvnlucy23@yahoo.com or find me on FACEBOOK under the group
    “DON’T DRIVE A TOYOTA BECAUSE THEY DRIVE THEMSELVES” a group to unite people with similar issues.


  9. Mike says:

    Lets go back about a year, my girlfriend was driving us home from dinner and pulled into her driveway, the driveway was slippery and had some snow on it, she slowly pulled in and stopped when all of a sudden the vehicle started moving forward toward her house, I yelled at her to put on the brakes … she was… ended up hitting the house and causing $700 damage to the 2000 Toyota 4 runner. She said the car just went forward…I thought she was nuts. Today I pulled in to a Tim Hortons coffee drive through, slippery conditions and a vehicle about 15 feet in front, I came to a complete stop with the car in drive and my foot on the brake, suddenly the car started to move forward and I pressed harder on the brake (NOTHING !) The rear wheels were turning but the front wheels were locked but sliding on the snow toward the vehicle in front, after 2 seconds I quickly put it in neutral and the 4 Runner stopped about a foot from the car in front…totally relieved (just got the front end fixed about 2 weeks ago) I believe my girlfriend now. This problem is real albeit rare for me but both times it happened was on slippery conditions coming to a rest. This had nothing to do with floor mats and brakes were applied as hard as possible.

  10. I own a 2006 Toyota Corolla and the shift cable broke. I was told the shift cable is not part of the POWERTRAIN but airbags and seat belts were (also mentioned on my 2006 sales brochure) but w/o mention of the shift cable.

    My 2006 has been recalled for an ecm modulator and my car is very hard to slow down when coming off cruise control BRAKES FREEZE IN PLACE.

    a) I believe I am being lied to about the shift cable not covered under the 5 year/60,000 mile factory warranty. My car has only 32,000 miles as I drive very little I am disabled.

    My car is fully paid for and fully insured.

    Charles Rasmussen

    Toyota made an offer to pay for 1/2 the cost of part and DEALERSHIP said they would subtract $500 – but that I was to come up with $700.

    This sounds strange after I started to complain.