Toyota plaintiffs challenge NASA sudden-acceleration findings

2009 Toyota Camry
2009 Toyota Camry

Lawyers representing hundreds of people suing Toyota over sudden acceleration issues, challenged a NASA report that absolved electronic flaws from being the culprit behind Toyota’s recalls in 2009.  Papers filed last week in Santa Ana, California, Federal Court, said that plaintiffs experts will contradict the NASA findings.

“Toyota asks this court to take judicial notice of findings and conclusions by NASA and NHTSA that are hotly disputed in this litigation,” Steve Berman, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, wrote. “If this court took judicial notice of the disputed findings and conclusions, plaintiffs would be barred from challenging them in this litigation.”

NASA had concluded in February, that the incidents were rooted in issues such as sticking accelerator pedals and floor mats which were jamming the pedals.

Plaintiffs are questioning whether the NASA research was comprehensive enough, as it only reviewed 280,000 lines of computer code from a total of 8 million.  They are also putting forth a new cause of acceleration – crystalline structures that emanate from tinned surfaces, called ‘tin-whiskers’.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Bloomberg