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Toyota settlement ruling coming soon

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After reaching a settlement regarding unintended acceleration in their vehicles last year, a “fairness hearing” in California will determine additional settlements will be paid to Toyota owners whose cars were affected by the problem. The settlement agreed to by Toyota comes despite the fact that independent reviews “found no engineering defect that caused unintended acceleration.” The settlement does not include payments for wrongful death caused by unintended acceleration.

Courts to Rule on Toyota Settlement Affecting up to 22 Million Owners

It is unfortunate for Toyota to be faced with such a situation, facing substantial consequences despite no wrongdoing on their part. However, there is potential for similar issues to become a growing trend in the auto industry. As cars use more and more software and lines of coding become increasingly long, one might expect there to be many more opportunities for undiscovered flaws, or in this case, glitches in isolated circumstances that can be interpreted as epidemic problems. In the future, there will be more and more opportunities for operator errors to be passed off as car faults by simple fact of having more places within the car to cast blame.


One Comment

  1. Toyota did find two issues, floor mats got in the way and plastic in the pedals that could stick. They were also very slow and sloppy in addressing the issues. You are correct that nothing was found with software, and you can be assured that class action lawyers hired people to try to find flaws, on top of what NHTSA [Natl Highway Traffic Safety Admin] did in its safety oversight role.

    After several highly publicized cases of unintended acceleration (a couple of which to me seemed odd / not credible), followed by public Congressional hearings, followed by a finding of defects overlooked by Toyota’s management process, there were of course many lawsuits. One set was by people involved in accidents. The other was by Toyota owners [or at least by class action lawyers “on behaf of” owners] claiming that their cars lost value, similar to the lawsuits that can come against management when a stock price falls a lot.

    May 19, 2013

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