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Toyota Case Faces Obstacles

Posted on September 8, 2010

Toyota and runaway vehicles made the headlines in the beginning of 2010. Now the class action lawsuits are slowly moving through the courts, but a problem has presented itself- where are the injuries?

When some consumers got behind the wheel of their Toyota Prius, Lexus, or Camry, and it took off uncontrollably, sometimes hitting other vehicles, there was property damage but often little human damage besides a good scare. Not everyone got off so easily. Remember the case of California Highway Patrolman Mark Saylor and his family who plunged off a San Diego cliff and perished when their loaner Lexus experienced sudden acceleration?

But that was the exception.

Plaintiffs claim, and rightly so, that their car has lost value because of its problem. But courts have so far rejected economic injuries suffered by Toyota owners. This stacks the deck against the plaintiffs who don’t feel they can drive their vehicles. At the same time, no one with a conscience wants to pawn off a “lemon” vehicle that could injure others.

There are more than 200 lawsuits pending in a class action in California. Toyota cases are being pursued with several arguments. Not only do they fall under consumer fraud statutes in California, but they also can be considered a defective product, falling under product liability law.

The Toyotas that experienced sudden acceleration are now worthless and lawyers will have to argue the property loss from this defective product. That argument is easier to make in California that has strong consumer fraud statutes.

If your Toyota has experienced sudden acceleration, you are advised to stop driving it, take it to the dealer, or if it has already gone in for repairs, call an experienced Florida product liability attorney to help you seek out the responsible party that can compensate you for your economic loss.