Toyota dealerships across the country, like Toyota of Tampa Bay, are watching the federal judiciary, waiting to find out if the largest car defect settlement in this country’s history will come through. The issue at hand is a defect in the acceleration mechanism that has caused numerous fatal accidents as well as tanked the resale value of cars that have not demonstrated the defect.
The lawsuits have been divided into two categories: wrongful death and economic loss. The settlements are being determined separately. In a wrongful death suit, surviving family members can recover for actual financial harm that was caused by the death of a loved one. When someone unexpectedly passes, not only do families have to cover the actual costs of a funeral and burial, but if the deceased was a supporting member of the family, the loss of income can be devastating to the survivors.
Toyota has stated they believe user error to be part of the problem, but they have also admitted improperly sized floor mats and stuck gas pedals contribute to the acceleration accidents.
The accident that incited the numerous lawsuits was a horrific California crash where an SUV accelerated out of control, killing a highway patrol officer and three members of his family. Investigators established that a floor mat that did not fit the car properly trapped the gas pedal down.
Even though cars go through rigorous testing, some details can get overlooked. When a loved one is killed because of a company’s negligent work, surviving family members deserve help moving on.