All eyes in the automobile defect world of product liability litigation will be on Los Angeles County Superior Court in the coming weeks. Toyota faces trial for the sudden acceleration defect: Norika Uno's car accelerated to over 100 miles per hour in city streets, culminating in a crash that took his life. She leaves behind an aggrieved son and husband.
Toyota has paid over $1billion in settlements but here the plaintiffs and their lawyers are holding Toyota's feet to the fire. It's hard to tell if this one will go all the way through trial or if we are looking at a game of chicken. However it shakes down, it will be very interesting to see what happens.
From another case I have heard a 911 call from a driver who was in a car that had unintentionally accelerated and could not stop; it's the sound of terror. These types of defects should not be happening today.
Sometimes, but not always, the defect is that the accelerator gets caught on the floor. A driver might attempt to reach to the floor to un-stick the accelerator but this is easier said than done (you have to take your eyes off the road to do this).
LA Times reporters Jerry Hirsh and Ken Bensinger have recently reported on the Norkia Uno v. Toyota trial. I commend the article to you.