From 2002 to 2010, Toyota continuously denied any problems with the throttle control systems in its vehicles. Meanwhile, a Congressional probe uncovered that Toyota had received more than 37,900 reports from customers describing unintended acceleration problems - across numerous models and years.

While this may be a closed matter to regulators, who settled with Toyota in 2014, everyday Americans are still suffering as a result of Toyota's deception and lax safety standards. Unrepaired defects in Toyota's Electronic Throttle Control System continue to cause uncontrolled acceleration accidents, leading to injuries, and deaths, at the hands of this now known and preventable problem.

What Causes Toyota, Lexus and Scion Cars to Speed Up Without Warning?

According to court documents filed by plaintiffs, there are three key defects contributing to unintended accelerations in Toyota/Lexus/Scion vehicles:

First, the fault detection system in these vehicles is unable to anticipate and diffuse an unintended effect like an unexpected, uncontrolled acceleration.

Second, the Electronic Throttle Control System (ETCS) is susceptible to failures. These failures may result from software bugs or glitches, faulty or short circuits, insufficient shielding from electromagnetic interference or other defects which can cause the vehicle to malfunction. Without a sufficient fault detection system, the malfunction can lead to a vehicle accelerating out-of-control.

Third, the lack of a properly designed brake override system (aka "smart throttle technology") in certain vehicles means that a driver is not able to manually slow or stop the vehicle in an unintended acceleration event by simply stepping on the brakes. According to Consumer Reports, "smart-throttle technology... can mitigate the risks associated with unintended acceleration by allowing the driver to quickly, intuitively bring a car to a safe stop...."

Because Toyota did not equip these vehicles with a properly designed brake override system, the driver is unable to safely stop the vehicle and it can accelerate uncontrollably, leading to accidents, injury, loss of life, property damage and other harms.

Which Vehicles are at Risk for Uncontrolled Acceleration?

The following list of models (there are others as well) included in Toyota's economic loss class action settlement with plaintiffs are known to be at risk for sudden unintended acceleration:

Brand:

Models (and years):

Toyota:

4Runner (2001-2010), Avalon (2005-2010), Camry (2002-2010), CamryHV (2007-2010), Camry Solara (2AZ) (2002-2008), Camry Solara (except 2AZ) (2004-2008), Celica (2ZZ) (2003-2005), Corolla (except 2ZZ) (2005-2010), Corolla Matrix (except 1ZZ 4WD, 2ZZ) (2005-2010), FJ Cruiser (2007-2010), Highlander (2004-2010), HighlanderHV (2006-2010), Land Cruiser (1998-2010), Prius (2001-2010), RAV4 (2004-2010), Sequoia (2001-2010), Sienna (2004-2010), Spyder (MR2) SMT (2001-2005), Supra (2JZ-GE) (1998), Tacoma (5VZ w/ETCS-i) (2003-2004), Tacoma (2005-2010), Tundra (except 5VZ) (2000-2010), Tundra (5VZ) (2003-2004), Venza (2009-2010), Yaris Hatchback (Puerto Rico only) (2006), Yaris (2007-2010)

Lexus:

ES (2002-2010), GS (1998-2010), GS HV (2007-2010), GX (2003-2010), HS (2010), IS (2001-2010), LS (1998-2010), LS HV (2008-2010), LX (1998-2010), RX (2004-2010), RX HV (2006-2008, 2010), SC (1998-2000, 2002-2010)

Scion:

xB (2008-2010), xD (2008-2010), tC (2005-2010)

Toyota Settlements for Sudden Unintended Acceleration

In December 2013, Federal and California courts issued orders finalizing Toyota's agreement to settle nationwide economic loss class action claims for vehicle owners for loss of trade in value resulting from the defects - but not claims of personal injury or property damage, which still must have their day in court, negotiation or mediation to win relief for victims.

The next year, Toyota settled for $1.2 billion dollars with regulators, the largest criminal penalty imposed upon an auto maker in American history, for misleading Americans with "deceptive statements" about their vehicles' safety.

While Toyota settled the criminal probe without admitting any guilt, such a settlement might appear to some to impliedly contradict Toyota's explicit denial "that it engaged in any and all wrongdoing, and [it] denies that its ETCS is defective," in its earlier settlement with car owners.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Still, Toyota has not taken full responsibility for injuries to countless victims across the United States resulting from sudden acceleration. Instead, Toyota is addressing such personal injury, wrongful death and property damage cases on a case-by-case basis.

Among others, Toyota has settled with the families of 2 Oklahoma women who died when their 2005 Toyota Camry accelerated into an intersection and hit an embankment.

Contact Our Team Now

If you have suffered a serious injury or lost a family member as a result of what you believe to be a sudden unintended acceleration incident involving a Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicle, you deserve to have Toyota compensate you for the harm to you or your loved ones resulting from their deception.

Do not hesitate to contact a member of our expert personal injury team today for a free consultation today by calling us at 1-888-741-2 015, or reaching out to us online.