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]