Toyota recalled over 10 million vehicles worldwide because of unintended
acceleration issues. The sticky accelerator pedals and poorly designed
floor mats put millions of motorists at risk. These serious safety issues
significantly depreciated the value of the recalled vehicles resulting
in a financial loss for the owners.
On July 18, a U.S. District Judge in Santa Ana, California, gave final
approval of the Toyota agreement to settle a major class action lawsuit
filed on behalf of thousands of consumers. According to a
Bloomberg news report, the settlement is valued at $1.63 billion and will result
in individual payments to Toyota owners who lost money because of the
depreciation in the value of their vehicles. Individual payments that
will go to the plaintiffs can be as little as $9.74 and as much as $10,000
depending upon the model of Toyota owned, rented, or leased.
It is important to point out that this settlement does not resolve any
of the personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits that resulted from the
unintended acceleration issues. There are many individual claims across
the country that will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For example,
there is a wrongful death claim pending in Los Angeles that was filed
by a man whose 66-year-old wife was killed in the year 2009 when her Toyota
Camry accelerated beyond her control and struck a tree.
If you have suffered an injury because of a mechanical malfunction or defective
auto part, there are a number of steps to take to protect your best interests.
First, it is important to call the authorities, file a report, and collect
evidence from the crash site. You should also seek out immediate medical
attention to document the severity of your injuries. It is then important
to have a skilled San Jose auto product liability lawyer preserve your
damaged vehicle for a complete inspection.
The experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys at Caputo & Van
Der Walde LLP help injured victims of defective auto parts get the support
they need. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations at
(800) 900-0863 to anyone who has suffered a loss in a San Jose car crash.