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unintended acceleration 92 articles

First Toyota sudden unintended acceleration cases will be tried in 2013

The first lawsuits filed in federal courts against Toyota will be tried as belwether cases sometime during the first quarter of 2013, Judge James Selna of U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, announced yesterday. Judge Selna asked plaintiffs’ lawyers to be prepared to select the belwether cases, which will serve as test cases to determine how the rest of the litigation will proceed. More than 100 lawsuits against Toyota filed in federal courts across the country were consolidated last April for pretrial proceedings and assigned to Judge Selna, whose courtroom is located near Toyota’s North American headquarters in Torrance. ... Read More

2 dead, 2 injured in Utah Toyota sudden-acceleration crash

WENDOVER, UTAH — A deadly crash involving a 2008 Toyota Camry has killed two people and injured two in western Utah, reigniting fears that defects in many Toyota vehicles may trigger sudden, unintended acceleration incidents despite the company’s massive safety recalls. The November 5 crash occurred near the Nevada border. Utah State troopers said that the Camry’s driver. Paul Van Alfen, 66, tried to stop the vehicle as it exited the interstate. The runaway car sped past the stop sign at the bottom of the ramp and through an intersection before hitting a rock wall. The collision killed Mr. Van Alfen ... Read More

Toyota quietly settles Saylor case, abandons co-defendant dealership

Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement with the families of Mark Saylor and his wife and brother-in-law over the high-profile crash near San Diego last year that killed all the occupants of a rented Lexus ES 350, including the Saylors’ 13-year-old daughter. According to court filings, the settlement was reached quietly sometime in June and Toyota has formally requested that the details of the settlement be kept confidential. The Saylors were killed in August 2009 after their car sped out of control on a California freeway, careening off the road and exploding. Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer, was on ... Read More

Toyota slides to third in rankings after sudden acceleration recalls

What a difference a year can make. A new report by CNBC shows that Toyota’s series of disastrous recalls will likely land the auto maker in the number-three position in the United States this year, behind Ford and Chevrolet. Before Toyota announced its first two rounds of safety recalls over potential sudden unintended acceleration defects last fall, the auto giant was ranked number one in U.S. auto sales. Toyota pushed hard to climb to the top, instituting a number of radical changes that altered everything about the company, from its administrative structure to its vehicle designs and manufacturing processes. Critics ... 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 blames sudden acceleration incidents on driver confusion

In response to a Toyota Motor Corp’s conclusion that virtually all of crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration were actually the result of driver error, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Joan Claybrook said, “that is totally ludicrous.” Toyota has reviewed about 2,000 reports of sudden acceleration in its cars and trucks, including analyses from event-data recorders (vehicular “black boxes”) from the incidents that resulted in crashes, and says the devices reveal in nearly all cases the accelerator to be at full throttle without the brakes being engaged at the time of the crash. Toyota interprets this to mean that ... Read More

Deaths linked to sudden acceleration climb to 89

Federal transportation officials now say that 89 deaths have been linked to sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles since 2000, up from 52 reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in March. Prior to January 27, 2010, NHTSA had on record 17 complaints of acceleration-related Toyota crashes involving 21 deaths between 2000 and 2009. An additional 13 deaths and 10 injuries linked to sudden acceleration accidents since 2005 were subsequently reported to the agency, bringing the total number of people killed to 34. The auto giant now faces at least 228 federal lawsuits and 99 state lawsuits over loss ... Read More

The secret life of a Toyota black box

Everybody knows that after an airplane crashes, the first order of business for investigators is to locate the black box. But few people know that two thirds of new automobiles sold in the United States also contain black boxes, known in the auto industry as “event data recorders.” No federal or industry regulations govern the devices, which record such things as speed, air bag deployment, accelerator pedal and brake applications, seat belt use, and so forth, but they have nonetheless provided key evidence for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other crash investigators. Toyota installs the black boxes in ... Read More

NHTSA investigating reports of sudden acceleration in Ford and Mercury cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating new reports of sudden unintended acceleration in three separate incidents, but not in Toyota vehicles. This time, the complaints involve acceleration incidents that have occurred in the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. NHTSA is investigating possible causes of sudden acceleration in the American-made cars. The probe is still ongoing, but floor mats appear to be a likely culprit just as they were reported to be in many of the sudden, unintended acceleration incidents involving millions of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Although no recalls have yet been issued, NHTSA has “warned owners ... 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