Back in September of 2007, State Farm sent a letter to Toyota asking that the Japanese automaker pay for an insurance claim for a 2005 Camry that had reportedly wrecked as a result of unintended acceleration. According to a report in USA Today, State Farm wrote, "we are aware of several complaints to your company of sudden acceleration involving the Toyota Camry." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was copied on the note, and the government agency wrote back to State Farm stating that it had been looking into unintended acceleration claims since August of 2006, but the investigation had been closed.
State Farm wasn't reimbursed back in 2007, but in light of Toyota's recall of 7.7 million vehicles for acceleration-related issues, the insurance company is taking a second crack at getting cash from Toyota. The process of an insurance company receiving money from an automaker is called "subrogation" and USA Today says Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons told the national newspaper that the process is fairly common.

Common or not, State Farm can recoup up to $30 million from Toyota, and the insurance company says customers involved in unintended acceleration crashes in a Toyota could get their deductible cash back, which can range from $250 to $1,000 or more. However, customers shouldn't expect money any time soon. Case Closure mediation attorney Mark Bunim reportedly told said that the process could take some time to resolve as someone would need to check every Toyota claim and determine whether the accident involved sudden acceleration.

If Toyota doesn't pay for the insurance claims, the automaker could indirectly foot the bill with higher insurance premiums. Due to Toyota's otherwise strong quality and safety reputation, its vehicles are currently relatively inexpensive to insure. If Toyota pays State Farm for accidents involving unintended acceleration it's a near guarantee that other insurers will follow suit.


[Source: USA Today]

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