Patrick Rall's picture

Judge will not dismiss Toyota unintended acceleration suits

On Friday, U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled that he would not dismiss the lawsuits filed against Toyota for the unintended acceleration recalls over the past year. Even though Toyota vehicles continue to cost people their lives, the Japanese automaker insists that it hasn’t done anything wrong and that these recent suits shouldn’t be permitted since the owners did not suffer any economic loss.
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The owners, on the other hand, claim that the value of their vehicles have dropped severely due to the fact that Toyota hid these issues for so long, hurting their company image and the value of their products in the used car market.

Toyota is concerned that these initial lawsuits could “open a floodgate”

The lawyers representing Toyota in these cases claim that by allowing these suits to take place, other owners will be able to come forward and sue Toyota simply because they own one. However, when you consider the fact that so many consumers purchase vehicles based on the long-term value of the car – a value that has been greatly reduced by Toyota’s negligence in dealing with the unintended acceleration issues – perhaps the automaker should be held accountable for causing the value of their vehicles to drop.

Judge Selna will make his final ruling on these cases in a week but based on his initial 63-page statement, it looks as though Toyota could be headed into rocky legal waters. Also, Judge Selna will preside over a variety of cases filed against Toyota by those seeking compensation from the automaker for injuries and/or deaths caused by Toyota’s careless recall procedures.


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