Lawsuit says Toyota kept acceleration defects a secret, states electronic throttle is to blame

A lawsuit filed on Monday claims that Toyota knew about the sudden acceleration problems in its vehicles as far back as 2003, but concealed the defects from consumers and officials. The suit makes the claim that the electronic throttle is to blame for the acceleration issues.

The suit seeks class-action status in U.S. District Court in California on behalf of consumers and businesses that either bought or leased Toyota vehicles manufactured on American soil that have electronic throttle control systems. Toyota has admitted so far that there are two potential causes of sudden acceleration; a ‘sticky pedal’, and a pedal getting stuck on thick floor mats.

The suit argues that Toyota should be held responsible for the drop in resale value in cars that are affected. Attorneys are also requesting that Toyota install a brake override system in all cars with electronic safety throttle.

Toyota released a statement earlier today saying:

Toyota looks forward to defending against the allegations made in the plaintiffs” consolidated complaint.

Toyota has identified two specific mechanical causes of potential unintended acceleration in some of its vehicles and has moved decisively to address these issues with effective and durable solutions. Toyota rejects claims that plaintiffs suffered economic damages because of the recent recalls.

Importantly, to date, plaintiffs have not cited a specific cause that would support their claim of a defect in Toyota”s Electronic Throttle Control System, and no credible scientific theory or proof has been advanced to support this allegation. Toyota firmly believes that the system is completely safe and that reliable scientific evidence will demonstrate the safety of our vehicles in the investigations currently underway and, ultimately, to the court.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: CNNMoney