Nashville residents may be aware that Toyota Motor Corp. is entering negotiations to settle hundreds of lawsuits related to sudden acceleration. The shift from defending itself against claims that defective vehicles have caused accidents by accelerating unintentionally comes after the company lost a significant jury trial.
In October, the automaker was assessed a $3 million verdict after a jury found that a Toyota Camry's defects led to a car accident that killed one person and injured another. The jury told the company that it had displayed a "reckless regard" toward the safety of consumers, according to a news report.
More than 300 lawsuits related to sudden, unintended acceleration have been filed against Toyota since 2009. The claims state that defects cause some Toyotas to randomly accelerate and cause collisions.
Toyota is reportedly going to address the lawsuits one by one in attempts to settle. Those that cannot be settled may then be handled in mediation or litigation. It is not clear exactly how long this process will take, but it is scheduled to begin in February.
Last year, Toyota settled a class-action lawsuit filed by its customers who argued that the sudden acceleration issue caused the value of their vehicles to go down.
Defective auto parts can wreak havoc, and the exact number of people who may have been injured or killed as a result of sudden acceleration is not clear. When Tennessee residents are injured by a defective product - whether it is an automobile, household product, or something else - it is important for them to seek legal guidance. It is often possible to recover monetary compensation as well as prevent others from being injured by the same products.