Toyota's Own Drivers Were Behind the Wheel in Sudden Acceleration Cases, Court Filing Says


The document states, according to the filing, that the floor mats were securely in place at the time of the incident and no fault codes were generated by the onboard computer and "[a]s the Service Manager who experienced the condition above is considered to be trustworthy and reliable, the vehicle will be repurchased for further investigation."

When reached by ABC News, the owner of the Tacoma confirmed that Toyota had bought the Tacoma back from him and said the dealer informed him that they were able to replicate sudden acceleration in the vehicle. The driver, who asked not to be named, told ABC News that while Toyota did not ask him to sign a confidentiality agreement they urged him not to talk about the case. According to California's vehicle Lemon Law, owners cannot be required to sign confidentiality agreements over vehicles with possible defects.

"The deeper we dig into the facts that surround Toyota, the more damning the evidence that Toyota was aware of the issue, and failed to act responsibly," said Steve Berman, co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in the class action suit. "Toyota's been publicly blaming drivers, floor mats and pedals for acceleration defects while quietly removing defective vehicles from the market."

CLICK HERE to follow the ABC News Investigative Team's coverage on Twitter.

Toyota: 'No Problems' With' Vehicles

According to plaintiff's lawyers, who say they have investigated hundreds of complaints of sudden acceleration in Toyotas, the Corolla and the Tacoma are the only cases they are aware of where Toyota has re-purchased vehicles after an alleged case of sudden acceleration.

When asked about the cases by ABC News, Toyota said that it is not unusual for the company to repurchase vehicles "as part of our commitment to investigate acceleration concerns." According to Toyota spokesperson Brian Lyons, owners are not required to sign confidentiality agreements when a vehicle is bought back, but "they enter into them voluntarily as part of a mutual settlement agreement."

Lyons confirmed that Toyota had repurchased the Tacoma and Corolla in question, and said that Toyota engineers have been "driving and evaluating" the vehicles "thousands of miles and no problems have been found" and "we continue to drive these vehicles even today." "As well as these vehicles, [since April Toyota] has evaluated approximately 4,200 vehicles in North America. Toyota has not found a single case in which the vehicle's electronic throttle control system would lead to unintended acceleration," said Lyons.

Olivia Alair, a Department of Transportation spokesperson, originally told ABC News that Toyota had not informed NHTSA of the incidents until a NHTSA probe into the sudden acceleration issue earlier this year. However, Toyota sent a statement to ABC News late today saying that it had informed NHTSA about the July 2009 Tacoma case in December 2009, and of the January 2010 Corolla case in May 2010. After being informed of Toyota's statement by ABC News, NHTSA rechecked its records and, according to Alair, discovered that the agency's earlier response was in error, and that in fact the acceleration incidents had been reported in a timely manner as asserted by Toyota.

Click Here To Read Toyota's Statement On the Milpitas and Round Rock Incidents.

CLICK HERE to follow the ABC News Investigative Team and Brian Ross on Facebook and join in on the discussion.

Click Here for the Blotter Homepage.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11974250. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11974250. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11974250.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...