Judge gives Toyota 30 days to produce documents on claims of unintended acceleration

Toyota has been ordered by a U.S. District Court judge to turn over the bulk of documents sought by class-action attorneys from previous investigations into claims of Toyota vehicles racing out of control. The company has 30 days to comply. This decision marks the first defeat for Toyota since the consolidation of scores of personal-injury and class-action consumer claims last month.

Many of the suits originally filed assert that a portion of the acceleration problems are rooted in an as-yet unidentified electronic glitch – an assertion vehemently denied by Toyota. Documents submitted to Congress by two lawmakers suggest that Toyota had consistently denied the possibility without thorough examination.

Under the order, Toyota must turn over any English-language documents, which it does not consider to be privileged (those involving communications with attorneys) in 30 days, and any Japanese-language documents in 60 days.

“We need all that material to form an educated complaint” against Toyota, lead plaintiff’s attorney Steve Berman told a hearing before Selna. Toyota’s attorneys, however, had countered that the request is premature and consistent with the basic rules of pretrial discovery

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)