Revised Lawsuit Accuses Toyota of Secretly Repurchasing Defective Cars from Consumers

According to an article published by Reuters on October 28, a revised class action lawsuit against Toyota regarding sudden acceleration problems in certain Toyota motor vehicles claims that Toyota secretly purchased vehicles with speed-control defects from consumers in the United States.

The lawsuit claims it was a part of a plan to conceal the unintended acceleration problems in certain Toyota vehicles from both the public as well as safety regulators. The new lawsuit is over 700 pages long, not including hundreds of additional pages of exhibits. It was filed on October 27 in the United States District Court in Santa Ana, California.

The revised lawsuit also asserts that the repurchasing transactions included confidentiality agreements that strictly prohibited consumers from suing the auto manufacturer in addition to forbidding them from revealing the problem to anyone else. However, the lawsuit does not contain any documentation of the supposed confidentiality agreements, but the attorney for the plaintiffs claims that consumers told him about them.

Alarmingly, the new complaint also alleges that internal records at Toyota document occurrences in which technicians were able to replicate similar acceleration-control problems like the ones consumers reported. It also accuses the company of having at least one exact case of sudden unintended acceleration which was then hidden instead of reported to auto safety regulators. Allegedly, there are field reports where technicians were able to replicate unintended acceleration in Toyota Camrys in facilities in Hong Kong between 2006 and 2010, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses Toyota of failing to install brake override systems that could potentially have prevented the fatal accidents that may have stemmed from the sudden acceleration problem.

Toyota has acknowledged in a statement that, in the past, it had repurchased Toyota vehicles from consumers who had complaints of sudden unintended acceleration, but argues that it did so to conduct “further engineering analysis” on the motor vehicles. The company also declares that their technicians have never been able to duplicate the alleged acceleration problems, and did not find any related conditions in their motor vehicles that they repurchased from consumers. Toyota asserts that consumers selling their cars back to Toyota were asked but not required to sign a “settlement agreement” that did not contain a confidentiality requirement, but did include a liability release.

It is the responsibility of auto manufacturers to produce safe motor vehicles for the public and recall vehicles quickly if they are proven to be unsafe. If you have been injured in a car accident that involved a defective car, you have legal rights and should consult with a Philadelphia defective car injury lawyer.

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