According to The Washington Post, attorneys working on a class-action lawsuit against Toyota claim that the company has known about issues of unintended acceleration in its vehicles since as early as 2003. The lawyers have reportedly discovered a field report written seven years ago by a technician that outlined an instance of unintended acceleration. The report allegedly called for immediate action due to how dangerous the problem could become and expressed concern about the potential frequency of the issue.

Earlier this year, the federal government hit Toyota with a $16.4 million fine for failing to recall vehicles afflicted by unintended acceleration quickly enough. At the time, it was believed that Toyota had known about the issue for about a month prior to alerting regulators – well beyond the single week that the law gives automakers to notify the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration of potential problems.

[Source: The Washington Post | Image: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty]