So, Toyota settles what is considered by some to be the strongest “Sudden
Acceleration” lawsuit amongst hundreds of individual and class actions
law suits. Toyota asserts that this terrifying incident was caused by
a problem with the floor mat. You heard correctly, the floor mat.
This was not a
California Lemon Law case; it was a Wrongful Death case. No details of the settlement have
been provided by the various news outlets from which we can infer that
the settlement included a confidentiality clause. Although we don’t
know this as a fact, we can also infer that no admission of liability
was part of the settlement. How does this work? Do they shrug and say,
“we’ll pay these folks some money, but it wasn’t our fault?
Having settled the lawsuit, Toyota then urged a US judge to dismiss all
lawsuits over sudden acceleration claims stating that they are based on
anecdotes and failed to identify any specific defects in the vehicles.
Just a thought; if there were no specific defects in all of these vehicles,
why did Toyota fight so hard to prevent anyone from learning the contents
of the black box (crash recorder) and its stored history? Trade secrets?
Cough ($^&$) Cough. Just a thought! The black box had a software glitch
which has been well-reported.
If you were one of the hundreds of other consumers who experienced the
frightfulness of trying to stop a car out of control and then have Toyota
tell you that your experience was just an anecdote! An anecdote is defined
as a short account of an interesting or humorous incident. Interesting
or humorous! Norman Taylor & Associates has listened to many consumers
who experienced sudden acceleration events having varying degrees of scariness.
Never once were consumer’s experiences considered anecdotes.
So the Toyota saga continues. I keep waiting for them to man-up and do
the right thing instead of grinding anyone who even suggests that they
may be at fault into the legal dirt.