Toyota, under fire for manufacturing and installing parts that resulted in sudden unintended acceleration (SUA), has agreed to pay out a $1.2 billion settlement to avoid court appearances. If you are a plaintiff’s attorney involved in the litigation, hopefully you will soon receive your hard earned settlement. Unfortunately, there are often unforeseen delays that can increase the time it takes for you to get paid. RD Legal Funding provides a solution to post-settlement payment delays via our Fee Acceleration product.
The first widely publicized case of a Toyota SUA was the 2006 hearing of Koua Fong Lee, who was jailed after he lost control of his 1996 Toyota Camry, which resulted in three deaths. Experts hired by Lee’s attorneys examined the car and found evidence that the throttle had gotten stuck, and thus did not respond when Lee attempted to break and prevent a collision.
Lee was offered a retrial, but charges were dropped before the trial could take place. The court decided that the collision was caused by unintended acceleration.
Toyota initially claimed that SUA was caused by floor mats getting stuck underneath pedals, or driver error. However, after issuing a recall on several vehicles to fix the floor mat issue, Toyota finally admitted that some of their cars had “sticky” pedals, meaning that the accelerator got stuck in a depressed state. It was forced into this admission after a January, 2010 case where a car suddenly accelerated on the highway. The driver was able to gain enough control of the car, by putting it into neutral, to get it over to the nearest Toyota dealership. There, mechanics said that the problem was unintended acceleration, not anything he had done.
Other cases of SUA resulted in deaths and injuries. A Toyota employee spoke out against the company in 2010, stating that lying about the condition would only put more drivers at risk.
Despite the publicity that SUA received in 2010, the problem had been apparent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and others since at least 2003. Consumer petitions resulted in numerous NHTSA investigations and forced recalls of vehicles including, but not limited to, the Toyota Camry, Toyota Solara, and Lexus LS and ES. Toyota wound up recalling over 10 million vehicles, between 2009 and 2010 only.
If you or someone you know were affected by a vehicle with SUA, either as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you may be eligible to file a claim. Plaintiffs should visit https://www.toyotaelsettlement.com for more information. If you’re an attorney, please read on . . . .
Take control of your cash flow today with RD Legal’s post-settlement attorney fee financing product. There are no monthly fees or hidden charges and our rates are among the lowest in the industry. To speak with an attorney financing specialist, please contact RD Legal Funding, at 201-568-9007. If you’re ready to fill out an application, simply complete the quick form on this page.