Toyota seeks dismissal of unintended acceleration suits
Toyota has paid almost $50 million in fines to the US government and they’ve already paid out over $10 million to owners for various vehicular issues but all along, the company has insisted that the unintended acceleration issues were due to thick floormats, questionable pedal assemblies and bad drivers. When the NHTSA and NASA issued the results of their lengthy investigation of Toyota’s electronic throttle system stating that no errors would found, the automaker feels that they are not responsible for the accidents, injuries or deaths so they have requested that the massive class action suit be thrown out.
Throughout the entire mess, the key issue is that Toyota knowingly and willingly avoided recalling their vehicles for unintended acceleration – going so far as to state that no company employee had ever experienced it (which we know now is not true) while bragging in inter-company memos about how much money they had saved by avoiding recalls. In addition to the fact that their cars were hurting and killing people, the news that their cars were not-so-perfect negatively impacted the residual value of the vehicles, which is another portion of the pending lawsuits.
Toyota is banking on the idea that with the NHTSA/NASA findings, they are not responsible for the accidents and residual value depreciation but the bigger problem is still that they were selling cars that they knew were experiencing problems and they didn’t do anything about it. Whether the problem is due to pedals that were too long or floormats that were too thick, even dealership employees experienced unintended acceleration so it cannot be as simple as driver error that caused thousands of accidents and around 100 deaths. In the long run, the automaker still doesn’t know exactly what caused the problems and with a steady stream of recalls coming from Toyota, the residual value is not something expected to heal itself any time soon.
Even though the government hasn’t found any problem with Toyota’s electronics, the accidents, injuries and deaths all still happened and who is to be held responsible for vehicles that are causing these accidents if not the automaker who sells them? TorqueNews will continue following this story – bringing you all of your latest news on Toyota’s troubles.