Toyota to face first U.S. unintended acceleration test trial in 2013

Toyota Camry

Toyota, the world’s largest car maker that recalled millions of U.S. vehicles in 2009 following claims of unintended acceleration, will face its first test trial in Feb. 2013. U.S. District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, California said that Toyota’s first bellwether trial of lawsuits against the company for unintended acceleration will be held in Feb. 2013 and will involve claims by the families of two people killed in a Nov. 5, 2010, crash in Utah.

The lawsuit against Toyota claims that Paul Van Alfen died when his 2008 Toyota Camry crashed into a wall as a result of unintended acceleration. Passenger Charlene Lloyd died the next day.

“The conduct of a trial in the first quarter of 2013 will markedly advance these proceedings,” said Selna. “Selection of a personal injury/wrongful death case” is most likely to “meet that goal.”

“My overriding goal is to ensure that we try the first bellwether case in the first quarter of 2013,” Selna said. Lawyers of both sides at the hearing were pleased to hear the judge’s choice who picked the Van Alfen case from a list of three cases submitted by the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Bloomberg