U.S. District Judge James Selna – who has presided over the unintended acceleration cases against Toyota since 2010 – says the automaker does not have the right to compel 20 named plaintiffs into arbitration. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for lawsuits covering economic losses from the alleged issue of unintended acceleration. Toyota had maintained that leasing and purchase agreements signed by the owners denies owners the right to class-action litigation.

According to Bloomberg, although the ruling covers all 20, the are two kinds of plaintiffs in this instance. The judge decided that Toyota had lost its right to arbitration with fifteen of the plaintiffs only because Toyota waited so long to pursue it. Selna concluded that since the plaintiffs had come so far in the litigation process that "They would be prejudiced if their claims were required to be submitted to arbitration now."

Selna further denied Toyota's right to arbitration with the remaining five because "the carmaker wasn't a party to the arbitration agreements between the plaintiffs and the Toyota dealers." The ruling finalizes the tentative decision Selna issued last month.

Class-action status for the plaintiffs, however, has not yet been granted. Three trials are scheduled for next year, and they will be used to set precedents for evidence, liability and theories. It is expected that a final decision on class-action status will come after the conclusion of those three cases.


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  • 15 Comments
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The only one I want to see strung up by the cojones (legally speaking) is James Sikes. In fact, I haven't followed what the outcome was for him, but it may have happened already.
        GO MUSTANG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        I wondered about him too and a quick search on google didnt turn up anything...
      1454
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the glove don't fit, you must acquit. Toyota is not at fault here, the idiot drivers are. Toyota should counter sue for brand defamation.
        alexlivefree
        • 2 Years Ago
        @1454
        Hey, your Toyota bosses asked you not to make it so obvious that you are getting paid by them.
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @1454
        OK you got a TD right in your eyes for stupidity
      Danaon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Requiring arbitration for WARRANTY issues is pretty much par for the course, most states require you to go through the manufacturer's arbitration program (if they have one, and if it's certified by the state) before filing in court. However, PRODUCT LIABILITY issues are a completely different matter. Toyota is the only manufacturer to ever try and force people into arbitration for a product liability issue (although some of these claims by the plaintiffs may actually be breach of warranty claims). Shady, shady stuff. Makes me glad I don't own a Toyota, honestly.
        Smythe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Danaon
        "Toyota is the only manufacturer to ever try and force people into arbitration for a product liability issue" I don't think you know what arbitration is.
      Bret Frohwein
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice Try Toyota.. I'm glad judges have been siding, I think, correctly, nullifying all these contract clauses that make you sign your rights away in order to receive any type of product or service..
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Bret Frohwein
        • 2 Years Ago
        I tend to agree with you thinking SUA is BS.. but I Agree with the Judge for throwing out the Arbitration. It would be interesting to see someone actually prove to a jury that SUA exists.
      carfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      sue them for every yen they got these moron pigs... I hope in less than 10 years there won't be any more toyotas on the road...$hit cars+ $hit company=$hit people
        tankd0g
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Redneck blog night shift reporting for duty I see.
      Famsert
      • 2 Years Ago
      And the idiocy continues.
      Matt.P
      • 2 Years Ago
      Arbitration leaves no precedents unlike a legal proceeding.
      tankd0g
      • 2 Years Ago
      These idiots will now get nothing when it is proven they can't drive a car.
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