It already seems as though Toyota's unintended acceleration issues came to a head a lifetime ago, but the courts won't be ready to hear the first case for a long while. Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in California said on the court's website that the first case has tentatively been set for the first quarter of 2013.
The first case to come before the court will reportedly be the Van Alfen suit. Paul Van Alfen and a passenger were killed in a November 5, 2010 accident in which his 2008 Toyota Camry crashed into a wall after reportedly accelerating unexpectedly at an exit ramp in Wendover, Utah. The suit claims that the vehicle failed to stop even after Van Alfen slammed on the brakes. Van Alfen's wife and son were injured in the accident, and the two are among the family members suing Toyota.
The first case may not be until 2013, but courts will likely be buzzing with activity in the years ahead. Toyota recalled millions of vehicles in the United States for floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals in 2009 and 2010, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records show that over 100 deaths could be attributable to the automaker's unintended acceleration issues. Last month, Judge Selna also ruled that Toyota owners can sue the automaker for economic losses even when no accident results form unintended acceleration, adding "a vehicle with a defect is worth less than one without a defect."