• Jan 4th 2011 at 3:34PM
  • 16
Can't say we didn't see this one coming... According to the Associated Press, seven insurance companies* are suing Toyota in California court for damages in excess of $230,000. We suspect that figure could rise, as it's derived from just 14 of the alleged 725 total accidents the insurers claim Toyota is at least partially at fault for.

The suit reportedly alleges that Toyota is at fault for accidents blamed on unintended acceleration because the Japanese automaker failed to equip its vehicles with a brake override system that would electronically force the engine to return to idle if both the accelerator and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. After the recall hubbub first began, Toyota announced that all of its future models will come with this technology.

For its part, a Toyota spokesperson unsurprisingly responded that "any allegation that a vehicle-based defect is the cause of unintended acceleration in this or any other complaint is completely unfounded and has no basis." In December of 2010, Toyota agreed to settle a high-profile case in California regarding unintended acceleration in a Toyota Camry for $10 million, though it never admitted any wrongdoing. Four people were killed in that accident.

In October of 2010, Allstate filed suit against Toyota seeking $3 million in compensation as a result of 270 claims of sudden acceleration.

*The seven insurance companies bringing forth this suit are: American Automobile Insurance Co., Fireman's Fund Insurance, National Surety Corp., Ameriprise Insurance, IDS Property Casualty Insurance, Motorists Mutual Insurance and American Hardware Mutual Insurance.

[Source: Associated Press via AOL Autos | Image: David McNew/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      How can you sue for cars not having brake overrides when they weren't a standard item? Are they going to sue automakers for rollover accidents because cars didn't come with stability control? For rear-end accidents because cars didn't have electronic brake force distribution or brake assist?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually i think MB got sued over the A class and rollovers. They put stability control on them afterwards.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is simply the latest chapter in the sordid affair that Toyota made for itself. The insurance companies are only trying to recoup the losses that Toyota caused them. Toyota admitted its culpability for the unintended acceleration when they recently settled the lawsuit over the killing of the CHP officer and his family. Innocent parties do not act in that manner.

      If you choose to drive a Toyota, you should pay higher premiums to help offset the heightened danger and liability your vehicle poses.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seven insurance companies sue Toyota over unintended old people
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed; It seems that the cars met regulatory requirements. If the insurance companies wanted brake override systems they should have increased premiums or lobbied congress to regulate the installation of them. It's a little too late, insurance companies.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "In December of 2010, Toyota agreed to settle a high-profile case in California regarding unintended acceleration in a Toyota Camry for $10 million, though it never admitted any wrongdoing. Four people were killed in that accident."

        I thought it was a Lexus with wrong floor mats. No wonder these lawsuits are rampant.
        AB is doing its level best to keep the misinformation going.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I`m not a lawyer, just to clairify my statement.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Good grief .. many other car companies (probably because they did not have absolute confidence in the quality of the computers, mechanicals) installed the safety override feature almost a DECADE ago. Toyota -- believing its own hype -- felt that it had such wonderful quality that it did not need to install it as a safety feature. They also had a strong customer backed endorcement that anything that did go wrong was obviously not the cars fault (Toyota ONLY made perfection), so it had to always be a shortcoming of the driver (you see this in many of the pro-Toyota comments).

      Insurance companies use STATISTICS -- they are the ones that found out that Toyota was not reporting things correctly. It is really complicated -- statistic are why we don't get burnt or sub-quality potatoes chips anymore, the computers do a calculation and can find out if something is wrong -- in any case statistics are amazing, and most of us only see the REALLY basic applications, as their is a VERY HIGH mathimatical version of it. In the end, IF the insurance companies can educate the jury (or judge) on the perfection of the math aspect, then Toyota is in BIG trouble, as they have said that what Toyota was telling the public and reporting to the gov't was statiscally impossible.

      If there is truth to what the insurance companies are saying, I am pretty sure you will see this settled out of court as Toyota will not want the "public" getting educated on it all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they can prove it, then good for them. If not, then I say shove it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe these Insurance Companies should be looking to these drivers to take basic if not semi-advanced driver classes. I've said it numerous times about UA, slap your auto stick into that N position and your all set. Yes Toyota handled this entire mess horribly I'll never defend them on that but at what point does blaming them stop and blaming the drivers start?
      • 4 Years Ago
      And thank you (not) AutObLog for keeping this "story" going.

      Here's an interesting story to read:


      • 4 Years Ago
      This has nothing to do with old people. I am 33 and my wife is 30. I had issues with my Toyota over and over again. Finally this came to light to the public. I loved my Toyota's in the past. They were the best on the market. Today that is no longer true. I am now a proud owner of a Ford Fusion and my wife loves her Cadillac SRX. I have to admitt I will not consider a Toyota again for quite a while. With so many other vehicles better built/ backed and higher quality cars to choose from only a fool would go to a questionable car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Learn to drive, the brake is in the middle, or in your case, likely on the left.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The question that begs in this case, is not whether the insurance companies will or will not win against Toyota, but the question is this:
      Are people really so dumb, they actually press both pedals together, in the same time ?
      Well then, let me tell you, you would never get a driver's licence around here in Europe, and rightfully so !
      How about instead of developing more and more sophisticated technologies that allow dumber and dumber people (sheeple ?) to drive cars, simply make sure that only those with appropriate reflexes and biological completeness do get to drive a car ?

      I'm not expecting any answer of course, it's just a rhetorical question.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Look at this opportunity! The public hates toyota, let's get on the bandwagon...I am sure a jury of ignorants will support more punishment for Toyota."

      we should also sue them for creating cars and trucks that will attract large amounts of non-enthusiasts, so they will be even more likely to lack the skills/knowledge to turn off or stop a car if it accelerates...

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