Toyota works to resolve car accident suits, criminal matters

Automaker Toyota is taking steps to resolve the remaining legal issues surrounding defective vehicle parts that caused unintended acceleration. So far, the company has been required to recall millions of vehicles, and billions of dollars have been shelled out in connection with the defects. Now, it appears that a four-year investigation into the matter may be coming to an end, with the automaker seeking to close a criminal case alleging that complaints about the faulty vehicles were not properly disclosed.

In addition to the criminal allegations, Toyota is facing a large number of state and federal personal injury suits. Those suits are related to car accidents and other problems caused by the defective vehicle parts. Toyota has decided to negotiate settlements in many of those cases after losing a critical case in an Oklahoma courtroom. The Oklahoma jury found that the automaker's defective electronic throttle system was responsible for an auto accident that injured one woman and killed another. Toyota had won three other trials alleging negligence.

An expert in the case said that about 400 unresolved cases are still pending, though many of those are likely to end in settlements. The remaining suits will be addressed during February and March this year. Cases that are not settled are slated for mediation in April and May.

Experts say that public pressure could lead to higher payments for victims in the wrongful death and serious injury cases. The automaker's reputation has been tarnished, according to academic experts, who argue that settling the criminal case could affect the company's ability to settle civil matters. Victims who have suffered serious injury because of automobile defects may be entitled to financial compensation. Oklahoma attorneys may be able to provide more information for clients who have suffered injury in a car collision.

Source: The New York Times, "Toyota in Talks on Final Settlements Over Car Recalls" Jaclyn Trop and Ben Protess, Feb. 10, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information