Toyota trial over defective vehicles to begin in 2013

Toyota Liability LawsuitToyota Motor Corp. has been advised by a federal judge that it will face a nationwide litigation trial to decide whether the company manufactured defective vehicles that unexpectedly accelerated.

 U.S. District Judge James Selna has taken on this case right on the heels of a ruling that owners of Toyota vehicles outside California who were seeking to recover the losses in the value of their vehicles would not be permitted to make their claims as a result of the laws within that state. 

Several million Toyota vehicles have been recalled by this largest automaker in the world, as a result of issues that have been identified since the end of 2009, including problems with the floor mats on the driver’s side and sticking gas pedals; both of which have led to undesired acceleration of the vehicle.

 Hundreds of lawsuits on a federal and state level have resulted from the recalls, including those linked to the loss of resale value and those relating to injury and death.  Most of the federal cases have been handled by Judge Selna in the Santa Ana, California court. 

The judge has set a February 19, 2013 trial date for Toyota based on claims that have been made by the families of Charlene Lloyd and Paul Van Alfen; both of whom died in a Toyota vehicle that unexpectedly accelerated.   Van Alfen was the driver in a November 5, 2010 collision in his 2008 Toyota Camry, when the vehicle did not stop regardless of the driver’s use of the brakes.  Lloyd was a passenger in the vehicle and did not survive the crash.

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