New Accusations Made Against Toyota for Vehicle Defects in Revised Lawsuit
A revised lawsuit against Toyota alleges that the auto manufacturer secretly bought motor vehicles it produced with speed-control defects from consumers in the U.S, according to an article published by Reuters. The 700 page lawsuit claims Toyota actively planned to hide the sudden acceleration problem in certain Toyota motor vehicles from both safety regulators and the public by forcing consumers who sold their vehicles back to the company to sign a confidentiality agreement that barred them from disclosing the problem.
In a statement released earlier this week, Toyota acknowledges that it has repurchased Toyota motor vehicles from consumers who were complaining of unintended acceleration, but claims it did so to conduct “further engineering analysis” on the vehicles. Toyota also declares that the consumers who sold their vehicles back to Toyota were asked, but not required, to sign a “settlement agreement,” but the agreement did not contain a confidentiality requirement. It did include a liability release.
Toyota maintains that its technicians have never been able to replicate the alleged sudden unintended acceleration problems. Toyota has attributed the possible problem to ill-fitting floor mats and sticking gas pedals in certain Toyota motor vehicles, and has also stated that sudden acceleration cases may stem from error on the part of drivers. Throughout the recall of over 5.4 million of its motor vehicles, Toyota has continuously denied allegations of a possible existence of a hidden flaw in motor vehicles’ electronic throttle systems, contrary to what the revised lawsuit claims.
According to the revised lawsuit, however, there are field reports from between 2006 and 2010 where technicians in Hong Kong were able to duplicate unintended acceleration in Toyota motor vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that these internal records were hidden rather than reported to auto safety regulators. From the results of these tests, the lawsuit claims Toyota should have also installed brake override systems, which potentially could have prevented fatal accidents that allegedly stemmed from the sudden unintended acceleration problem.
It is important that those who have been injured in car accidents involving defective or recalled motor vehicles remember they have legal rights. It would be wise to consult with a Philadelphia auto product liability attorney to find out more information about pursuing a lawsuit against an auto manufacturer.