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state farm 9 articles

Louisiana sues State Farm for endangering motorists with cheap auto repairs

State Farm Auto Insurance endangers the lives of its policyholders by effectively forcing auto body and repair shops to perform repairs as cheaply and quickly as possible, the Louisiana Attorney General’s office alleges in a lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, filed August 19 in a Baton Rouge federal court, State Farm repeatedly broke state laws against unfair trade practices and monopolies by directing consumers to preferred repair shops or “direct repair facilities.” The repair shops are then effectively forced to conform to insurance estimates by using cheap, imitation, and used parts “rather than in accordance with consumer safety and vehicle ... Read More

State Farm seeks new trial in Mississippi whistleblower fraud case

Illinois-based State Farm and Casualty Co. has asked a federal judge to overturn a Mississippi jury’s finding the insurance company defrauded the U.S. government by allegedly manipulating damage reports after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 to blame damage on storm-surge floods instead of wind damage. The whistleblower case originated with Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., sisters who worked for an Alabama contractor State Farm hired to assess damages after the hurricane. The borderline category-3 / category-4 storm was the costliest and most destructive storm in U.S. history. It decimated entire cities along the Gulf ... Read More

Allstate takes Toyota to court for sudden acceleration claims

Allstate Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. for $3 million in an effort to recover the claims it paid to Toyota and Lexus drivers involved in sudden acceleration incidents. Allstate alleges it paid 270 sudden acceleration-related claims since 2007. Allstate’s lawsuit alleges that “certain of Toyota’s cars and trucks have a defect that causes sudden uncontrolled acceleration to speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or more,” and that the problem was enhanced by “defective electronics and the absence of a fail-safe, such as a brake-to-idle override system.” The insurance company’s spokeswoman Christina Loznicka told ... Read More

Minnesota man freed from prison in Camry sudden acceleration case

A Minnesota judge has freed Loua Fong Lee, a Southeast Asian immigrant and father of four who was convicted in 2007 of criminal vehicular homicide after his 1996 Toyota Camry sped out of control and crashed into another vehicle, killing three people. Ramsey County District Court Judge Joanne Smith ordered Lee free from prison on Thursday pending a new trial. Ramsey County Prosecutor Susan Gaertner, however, immediately announced she would drop the charges against Lee. “Mr. Lee will be a free man,” Gaertner said in a written statement. Lee, 32, has steadfastly maintained his innocence all along, saying that his Camry ... Read More

Toyota sudden acceleration defect may exonerate imprisoned man

If ever there were a case for the “never should have happened” file, it would be the story of Koua Fong Lee, who immigrated to the United States from his Hmong tribe in Southeast Asia shortly before he lost of control of his 1996 Camry and caused a devastating crash in Minnesota. On June 10, 2006, Lee was traveling along Interstate 94 in St. Paul on his way home from church. In the car with him were his expectant wife, 4-year-old daughter, brother and father. Just before exiting, Lee’s Camry accelerated drastically to speeds of 70-90 miles per hour, ultimately ... Read More

NHTSA says Toyota’s violations amount to $13.8 billion, may face second fine

Why did the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slap Toyota with the maximum allowable civil penalty of $16.375 million for its failure to promptly notify the federal agency of a potential safety defect in 2.3 million cars? Was this fine, by far the largest ever imposed by the NHTSA against a car maker,  justified? According to NHTSA, if it weren’t for the $16-million-plus statutory cap, which was enacted in 2006, Toyota would have owed the federal government $13.8 billion for its failure to comply with U.S. regulations. That’s because under federal law, car manufacturers should be fined $6000 per violation. ... Read More

Lexus GX460 flunks Consumer Reports safety test, Toyota suspends sales

After finding serious flaws in the electronic stability controls (ESC) and performance of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV, Consumer Reports is “urging consumers not to buy” the vehicle until parent company Toyota finds a fix. In response, Toyota has suspended sales of the vehicle nationwide until it can determine what is wrong with them and how they may be repaired. Consumer Reports’ team of engineers discovered the problem while conducting routine emergency handling tests. In one of the tests called “lift-off oversteer,” in which the driver abruptly removes his foot from the accelerator pedal in a sweeping turn, the ... Read More

AP investigation finds Toyota uses dishonest legal defense tactics

An Associated Press investigation has uncovered numerous examples that Toyota has relied on highly evasive, deceptive, and unethical legal tactics when defending itself against a spectrum of claims in court. The AP investigation involved an examination of lawsuits filed against Toyota throughout in the country in the past decade. The AP reviewed dozens of lawsuits that involve a range of allegations. The records show that in addition to sudden acceleration claims, Toyota has been sued for vehicle rollovers and poor roof strength, defective air bags, faulty transmissions, and braking problems. Many of the verdicts that favored Toyota in the past ... Read More

State Farm seeks repayment from Toyota for sudden acceleration claims

State Farm Insurance, the nation’s largest auto insurer, is asking Toyota for reimbursement on a number of claims it paid for crashes involving unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. Called “subrogation” in the insurance industry, the repayments could amount to as much as $30 million, according to legal estimates. Since 2007, State Farm has alerted federal safety regulators numerous times about a rise in the number of sudden acceleration reports involving Toyota vehicles. The insurer based its warnings on information culled from its massive 40-million-customer database and submitted its findings to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more than a year before ... Read More