According to Reuters, a federal judge has consolidated the majority of lawsuits filed against Toyota involving unintended acceleration. Over 100 such suits have been bundled together by U.S. District Judge James Selna, and temporary lead counsel has been chosen for both sides of the case. Expect a star-studded cast to show up for this one, including lawyers formerly involved with everything from Big Tobacco legislation to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Toyota is staring down the barrel of some pretty hefty claims, including calls for complete refunds for owners of the recalled vehicles. Needless to say, that's something the company is aiming to avoid at all costs.

The initial hearing is set for May 13, and the outcome will likely weigh heavily on the public's opinion of Toyota, not to mention the company's bottom line.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Andrew Yates/APF/Getty]