Insurance firms file suit against Toyota to recover over $230,000 for crash claims

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 5, 2011

A lawsuit has been filed against Toyota Motor Corp. by seven insurance companies in order to recover money paid to cover crashes that are claimed to have come as a result of unintended acceleration.

These insurance companies are American Automobile Insurance Co., Fireman's Fund Insurance, National Surety Corp., Ameriprise Insurance, IDS Property Casualty Insurance, Motorists Mutual Insurance and American Hardware Mutual Insurance.

To support their lawsuit, the insurers have cited data that put the automaker at fault for the 725 crashes for failing to install an override system that would make a car go idle if the brake and gas were deployed at the same time.

The insurers are asking for damages that exceed $230,000 from 14 crashes that took place in various places across the U.S. A report from the Los Angeles Times last Monday revealed that the lawsuits assert that certain cars and trucks made by Toyota have a defect that leads to sudden uncontrolled acceleration to speeds of up to 100 mph or more.

In response, Toyota described the lawsuits to have no merit. Toyota spokeswoman Celeste Migliore told the Times that the carmaker believes that the claim pointing to a vehicle-based defect as the cause of unintended acceleration is “completely unfounded and has no basis."

The lawsuits, which were filed last Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, follow the disclosure that Toyota paid a $10 million to settle the suit filed by the family of four people killed in a runaway Lexus crash. [via autonews - sub. required]

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