Despite spending $1.6 billion to settle thousands of sudden acceleration lawsuits, Toyota still faces hundreds of other lawsuits that are awaiting trial. The pending lawsuits are those for which the plaintiffs did not choose to be part of the class action lawsuit and, instead, chose to pursue their legal claims individually.
Many of the individual cases have already been settled, the most noteworthy settlement being a $10 million settlement in 2010 to the representatives of a family killed in an accident involving sudden acceleration.
The first individual case involving sudden acceleration went to trial in July 2013. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit was filed by the heirs of Noriko Uno, a 66-year-old bookkeeper who was killed when her Toyota Camry unexpectedly sped to 100 mph on a city street in 2009. The plaintiffs’ case focuses on whether Toyota was negligent in its failure to include a brake override system in the car. Brake override systems shut off acceleration when the brake pedal is depressed, and plaintiffs argue that such a system would have allowed Uno to stop her 2006 Camry before it collided with a telephone pole and tree, thereby killing Uno.
Other sudden acceleration lawsuits have focused on whether an electronic defect triggered the sudden acceleration in some Toyota vehicles.
California state court rules – where this case is pending – make settlement likely since plaintiffs in California need to convince only nine of 12 jurors to rule in their favor. Conversely, federal jury verdicts must be unanimous.
In addition to sudden acceleration, auto defects such as the following can cause serious damage, personal injury and even death:
- Child safety seats
- Defective airbags
- Car fires
- Defective seatbelts
- Tire defects
- Door latch failure
- Steering problems
- Electronic wiring malfunctions
- Sudden acceleration
- Defective brakes
Auto makers are expected to design, manufacture, and market safe vehicles. The failure to do so can result in liability for any damages, injuries, and deaths that occur as a result of a defective vehicle. The Chicago product liability attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on representing clients who have been injured in a wide variety of auto accidents, including accidents caused by sudden acceleration or other auto defect. We will explain your legal rights to you, discuss your legal options, and pursue any and all possible causes of action in order to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of a defective vehicle, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Chicago auto defect lawyers.