unintended acceleration

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News and Information about unintended acceleration

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South Korean actor sues Tesla alleging his Model X unintentionally accelerated

Tesla is being sued by a famous South Korean actor and singer because his Tesla Model X electric SUV allegedly accelerated and crashed into his house in California.

As reported by Reuters, Ji-chang Son is claiming that while he was slowly driving his Tesla Model X into his driveway on September 10, 2016, the SUV suddenly accelerated at full power, “jerking forward” and then crashing through the interior wall of the garage.

It ultimately halted in his living room. Son filed a lawsuit in United States District Court in the Central District of California, seeking class action status based on seven previously reported cases of alleged sudden acceleration events involving Tesla vehicles as compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Son’s lawsuit alleges product liability as well as negligence and breaches of warranty. He is also seeking still undetermined damages.

Read the entire article South Korean actor sues Tesla alleging his Model X unintentionally accelerated

Chrysler Group recalls 10,700 SUVs to fix unintended acceleration issue

Chrysler Group is recalling around 10,700 sports utility vehicles to repair an issue that could cause unintended acceleration when in cruise-control mode. The recall covers certain 2014 Dodge Durangos and Jeep Cherokees, Grand Cherokees and Grand Cherokee SRTs assembled between Jan. 16 and April 17, 2014.

Majority of the recalled units are with dealers or in transit to dealers, Chrysler said on its Web site. Around 6,100 of the affected units are in the United States, 950 in Canada, 425 in Mexico and 3,200 outside the North American Free Trade Agreement region.

Chrysler said it has no knowledge of any injuries, accidents or complaints related to the issue. According to the carmaker, it discovered that when the cars are in cruise control model, they may accelerate for about a second after the accelerator pedal is released.

Read the entire article Chrysler Group recalls 10,700 SUVs to fix unintended acceleration issue

US judge approves $1.2-billion settlement agreement with Toyota over unintended acceleration

United States District Judge William Pauley in federal court in Manhattan has approved a settlement agreement that entails Toyota Motor Corp. paying $1.2 billion to end a criminal investigation that resulted to the recall of over 10 million vehicles. The agreement represents the largest criminal penalty imposed on a carmaker in the US, according to Attorney General Eric Holder said.

As part of the settlement, Toyota admitted wrongdoing and agreed to pay the fine. It also agreed submit to “rigorous” review by an independent monitor. “This unfortunately is a case that demonstrates that corporate fraud can kill,” Pauley said. “I sincerely hope that this is not the end but rather a beginning to seek to hold those individuals responsible for making the decisions accountable.”

According to Pauley, the Toyota case presented a "reprehensible picture of corporate misconduct." Toyota was charged with wire fraud, which the government agreed not to prosecute for three years as long the Japanese carmaker cooperates with authorities. The recalls tarnished Toyota’s reputation and resulted to its dethronement as the largest carmaker in the world in terms of sale.

Read the entire article US judge approves $1.2-billion settlement agreement with Toyota over unintended acceleration

Toyota reached settlement over unintended acceleration in the US

Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement that will end a criminal investigation into unintended acceleration of its vehicles in the United States, sources told Bloomberg as well as CNN and The Wall Street Journal. The $1.2-billion settlement may be disclosed as early as Wednesday, two sources told Bloomberg, CNN and The Wall Street Journal also reported that the settlement was reached.

The Journal started reporting on the discussions in a Feb. 7 story. Toyota recalled over 10 million vehicles on issue related to unintended acceleration in 2009 and 2010. The first recall was in September 2009, covering 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles suspected of having a glitch that that might cause floor mats to jam accelerator pedals.

Toyota then recalled vehicles over defects involving the pedals themselves. The recalls lead to the criminal probe by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the New York office of Federal Bureau of Investigation. They also led to lawsuits alleging that the defects harmed the value of Toyota vehicles or caused accidents leading to death and injury.

Read the entire article Toyota reached settlement over unintended acceleration in the US

An “intensive settlement process” will be commenced between Toyota Motor Corp. and lawyers to resolve claims alleging that its vehicles suddenly accelerated causing death or injury, United States District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, Calif., disclosed. Selna has issued an order stopping the lawsuits after Toyota and the plaintiffs’ lawyers asked for time to try settling the cases.

Selna was scheduled to hear the first trial in March of around consolidated 200 federal claims. “Participation in the intensive settlement process is open to all plaintiffs,” Selna said in the order, adding that cases not resolved during the initial settlement conference "shall be set for a formal mediation.”

The settlement process comes less than two months after the Japanese carmaker lost its first trial in a suit, alleging an electronic defect can cause its vehicles to speed up uncontrollably. Toyota settled the case after an Oklahoma City jury in October ordered it to pay $3 million.

Read the entire article Toyota and plaintiff lawyers begin settlement process on sudden-acceleration

A lawyer told jurors in the first sudden-acceleration case trial involving Toyota Motor Corp. that the carmaker had knowledge of the danger of stuck pedals and failed to install a brake-override system in a woman's 2006 Camry, leading to her death.  Garo Mardirossian, the lawyer for the widow and son of the woman, Noriko Uno, said in his opening statement in state court in Los Angeles that had the carmaker installed a brake-override system in her Camry, the car would have come to a stop.

The lawyer said that the 66-year old Uno died in an accident in August 2009 after her Camry suddenly accelerated out of control and crashed into a tree after it was hit by a car that ran a stop sign. Mardirossian told jurors that Toyota had already installed a brake-override system in models sold in Europe, failed to install the feature in cars sold in the United States.

He noted that Toyota would have incurred no cost in the installation of the brake-override system since it only required only a modification to the vehicle’s software.A brake-override system could prevent sudden acceleration if the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time. The Uno lawsuit is the first of around 85 personal-injury and wrongful-death cases consolidated in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Read the entire article Toyota knew stuck pedals posed danger, lawyer told jurors

The first jury trial stemming from a lawsuit claiming that Toyota Motor Corp. is responsible for unintended acceleration in a woman's 2006 Camry that lead to her death in now underway in a state court in Los Angeles, California. Opening statements were scheduled to commence as early as August 7, 2013. Jury selection began July 22, 2013.

The bellwether lawsuit could set a precedent for a number of cases over alleged sudden acceleration by Toyota units. The woman, Noriko Uno, died in an accident in August 2009 after her Camry suddenly accelerated to around 100 mph, causing her to crash into a telephone pole and a tree.

Her husband Yasuharu and son Jeffrey claim that the crash was not a result of driver error, and that it could have been prevented only if a brake override system was installed in the Camry. A brake-override system could prevent sudden acceleration if the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time.

Read the entire article First trial over Toyota sudden acceleration is underway

Jury selection has started in a trial in Los Angeles, California stemming from a lawsuit claiming that Toyota Motor Corp. is responsible for unintended acceleration in a woman's 2006 Camry that lead to her death. The bellwether lawsuit could set a precedent for a series of cases over alleged sudden acceleration by Toyota vehicles.

The woman, Noriko Uno, died in an accident in August 2009 after her Camry suddenly accelerated to 100 mph, causing her to swerve into the center and then crash into a telephone pole and a tree. Uno’s family claims the crash was not a result of driver error, and that it could have been prevented by better safety equipment.

The Uno trial is expected to question why Toyota vehicles don’t have a brake-override system that would prevent acceleration if the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at simultaneously, according to an Associated Press report. Toyota has agreed to install such brake-override systems as part of a wider legal settlement in federal court.

Read the entire article Jury selection starts in unintended acceleration case vs Toyota

Twenty consumers filed a lawsuit against Ford, seeking to have the carmaker to pay for selling vehicles claimed to be vulnerable to unintended acceleration. The lawsuit, filed in a West Virginia federal court, claimed that over 30 Ford models equipped with electronic throttle control system did not have installed reliable safety systems like a brake override system.

Covered in the lawsuit are Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks built from 2002 to 2010. The models include the 2004-2010 Ford F-Series pick-up trucks and the 2005-2009 Lincoln Town Car, as well as 2002-2005 Mercury Cougar.

Adam Levitt, a partner at Grant & Eisenhofer and head of the law firm's consumer practice group, told Reuters in a phone interview that the plaintiffs are trying to be compensated for their economic losses “by having overpaid for cars that contained defects." He said had the plaintiffs been aware of the defects, they either would not have purchase the vehicles or would have paid less for them.

Read the entire article Ford facing suit over selling vehicles prone to unintended acceleration

Toyota Motor Corp. will be allotting around $1.1 billion to settle various lawsuits and other claims in the United States -- all prompted by reports of unintended acceleration that the Japanese carmaker was faced with in 2009 and 2010. Toyota said in a statement that it has agreed to fit new braking override systems in certain vehicles as well as reimburse owners who suffered economic losses due to the said problems.

The settlement will cover up to 16 million vehicles, which will be provided with three- to 10-year warranties for components related to unintended acceleration, according to a statement released by the plaintiffs' lawyers.

Around 3.25 million vehicles would be eligible for new brake-override devices, according to the lawyers. The Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota did not admit any fault for the acceleration problems when settling a key piece of class-action litigation pending in U.S. District Court in California.

Read the entire article Toyota to allot $1.1 billion to settle unintended acceleration suits

U.S. safety regulators are standing by their initial assessment that sticky pedals caused Toyota Motor Corp. cars to unintentionally accelerate, in response to an inquiry by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. The regulators are denying the possibility that it was an electrical issue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent a letter to Grassley, saying that it had meticulously studied the effects of what’s known as tin whiskers, a crystalline growth on a metallic surface that may cause electrical interference with the pedal. It didn’t’ find any evidence that it had led to the unintentional acceleration cases. The NHTSA said that "pedal misapplication” is the probable cause.

In response to what Grassley asked, the agency wrote that he doesn’t think that tin whiskers would be a possible explanation for these incidents. Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that whistleblowers had provided documents from the NHTSA's joint investigation into the Toyota issue, which resulted to the recall of millions of vehicles around the world.

Read the entire article NHTSA maintains the cause of Toyota’s unintended acceleration: pedal misapplication

The unintended acceleration controversy facing Toyota Motor Corp. may not have ended yet as Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to take another look at this issue. Sen. Grassley sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last Thursday to ask about the phenomenon of "tin whiskers," specifically crystalline structures of tin, that may theoretically cause the vehicles to take off all of a sudden, according to a CNN.com report.

Sen. Grassley, a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited documentation given by whistle-blowers about the probe by NHTSA and NASA into the Toyota issue, which led to the recall of Toyota units throughout the world.

According to the report, just because no proof was found that unintended accelerations stemmed from electronic throttle-control systems doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been the reason. The agency said that it has already gotten the letter and that it was being reviewed. Grassley requested the NHTSA to reply by July 26.

Read the entire article Chuck Grassley wants NHTSA to take another look at Toyota’s unintended acceleration

Toyota has got an enormous task ahead of it as it prepares to respond to hundreds of suits that claim that their vehicles experienced unintended acceleration. Its defense counsel is faced with countless queries and motions by the lawyers of plaintiffs that want a multibillion-dollar payout for their clients. This is expected to be a long and arduous legal battle for Toyota.

It won’t be until early 2013 before the court hears the first "bellwether" trial from Toyota's problems involving unintended acceleration in 2009 and 2010. It’s likely that discovery depositions will take place for a minimum of six more months.

If we look at what Audi of America underwent in the late 1980s with similar legal cases over unintended acceleration, it’s suggestive that Toyota would be defending how trustworthy its vehicles are for decades.

Read the entire article Toyota’s unintended acceleration suits could last decades

Jurors may be asked by the federal judge, who is handling the consolidated sudden-unintended acceleration lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp., to practice caution in viewing the testimony of several of the carmaker's trial witnesses. In a tentative ruling last Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, Calif., said that he will inform jurors of the first wrongful death and personal injury case set for trial.

He said that the Toyota personnel’s testimony about inspecting a 2008 Camry that crashed without plaintiffs' lawyers present should be treated with more caution. Sanctions were asked by lawyers for a Utah family, who filed a suit over a fatal accident in November.

They also asked for a default judgment against Toyota. The ruling stated that according to the owner of this facility where Toyota technicians examined the car after the crash, the technicians took out a piece of plastic wedged in the throttle body.

Read the entire article Jurors may be asked for greater caution in Toyota’s sudden-unintended acceleration lawsuits

Toyota Motor Corp. can’t be sued for economic loss by car owners in Florida who didn’t actually experience an unintended acceleration event, according to last Friday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, Calif. that finalizes last April’s tentative decision. He also ruled that New York plaintiffs can’t sue if this didn’t occur to them or if they didn’t experience a measurable loss when attempting to sell or trade in their vehicles.

The court dismissed most claims by Florida and New York car owners who asserted that Toyota reduced their vehicles’ value by its failure to divulge or repair defects related to unintended acceleration.

Carl Tobias, law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia, believes that the decision will have an impact on “most” of the economic loss claims in those states. He said that assembling a class would be harder since there would be considerably fewer eligible parties. At the hearing on April 23, lawyers for Toyota and the plaintiffs said that the ruling could remove millions of vehicle owners from the litigation.

Read the entire article Toyota win dismissal of most claims by Florida and New York regarding unintended acceleration

A ruling handed down by U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, Calif. last Monday barred Toyota Motor Corp. from forcing named plaintiffs seeking group status for a lawsuit over alleged losses from unintended acceleration from arbitrating their claims instead of proceeding to trial next year.

He said that Toyota has given up any right it may have had to force the arbitration of 15 of the 20 class representatives' claims. So for the other five, Toyota (as a non-signatory) could not impose the arbitration deals located in the plaintiffs' purchase and lease contracts with Toyota dealers.

On Feb. 24, Selna had given a tentative ruling that denied Toyota’s request to compel the plaintiffs to arbitrate their claims.

Read the entire article Toyota will not be able to require arbitration in acceleration lawsuits

U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana said that there will be three trials in 2013 over the unintended acceleration cases that Toyota Motor Corp. faces. The judge said that the first trial, scheduled on Feb. 19, 2013, will be about the claims by the families of two people who were in a fatal crash in Utah in 2010. This suit was junked last month due to jurisdictional grounds but it was later reinstated upon the refilling of the families’ claim.

July 2013 is the date for the first trial over claims of economic loss linked to unintended acceleration. A second wrongful death case has been scheduled to go on trial in November 2013.

Judge Selna said that he will likely limit the economic loss trial to claims from car owners in three states. At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Selna said that he doubts if he will include another state to the class action.

Read the entire article Toyota to face three trials in 2013 over sudden-acceleration claims

The first test case for the sudden acceleration suit against Toyota Motor Corp. set to go on trial in California in February 2013 has been dismissed. This first bellwether case was initiated by the families of two people who died in a crash in Utah in 2010. A federal judge said that the case should have been filed in state court in Utah.

In 2009, Toyota recalled at least 8 million U.S. vehicles beginning in 2009, related to claims of unintended acceleration. These recalls had led to the filing of hundreds of economic-loss suits and claims of injuries and deaths.

The case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, Calif., after determining that a federal warranty claim in the lawsuit wasn’t able to comply with a required $50,000 threshold for damages.

Read the entire article Toyota wins dismissal of the first sudden acceleration lawsuit

Trial for the initial cases against Toyota Motor Corp. related to sudden acceleration claims is expected in the first three months of 2013, according to U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, Calif. At a recent hearing, Judge Selna said that all pre-trial discovery of evidence should be concluded in 2012.

He asked plaintiffs’ lawyers who are filing wrongful-death, personal-injury and economic-loss claims to be ready to choose so-called bellwether cases to be tried before him. Judge Selna said that “substantial progress” has been made in this litigation and that the trial of these cases is a step forward.

Toyota has about 400 pending lawsuits that allege lost vehicle value or injury or death from sudden acceleration. Judge Selna didn't indicate if the 2013 trials would involve economic loss or death and injury claims.

Read the entire article First case related to Toyota’s sudden acceleration to be tried in 2013, judge says

Toyota Motor Corp. had entered a deal last September with the families of four people who died in an accident related to unintended acceleration but it had only recently been revealed that the settlement was reached for $10 million. Back then, the two parties had agreed to keep the agreement confidential. We came to know the amount from a report from The Los Angeles Times.

The paper had gotten the information from the attorney representing Bob Baker Lexus, a defendant in the case, located near San Diego, Calif. California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor had been lent a 2009 Lexus ES by a Toyota dealer.

The case alleged that this vehicle had defects that caused the car to accelerate uncontrollably and this resulted to the deaths of Saylor, his wife, brother-in-law and daughter. By accepting the settlement, the families of the victims agreed to drop the suit they had raised against Toyota and the dealership.

Read the entire article Toyota pays $10 million to settle an unintended acceleration lawsuit