The law firm of McCuneWright, LLP, has filed a national class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corporation on behalf of Toyota and Lexus owners who have 'experienced incidents of sudden unintended acceleration'.

Toyota recently launched a recall in the US following a deadly crash in California believed to be the result of an accelerator pedal that got trapped and stuck by a floor mat. It has also said in a statement that "no defect exists in vehicles in which the driver's floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and properly secured."

However, the tragic accident sparked further speculation of an electronic malfunction, which this class action relates to.

Los Angeles County residents Seong Bae Choi, the owner of a 2004 Camry and Chris Chan Park, who owns a 2008 FJ Cruiser, will represent the class. Both say they have experienced multiple instances of sudden unintended acceleration in their respective vehicles.

The crash in Santee, California, that claimed four lives in August raised the profile of the issue with the public, Toyota, and federal regulators. California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor was at the wheel of a Lexus ES 350 sedan on Highway 125, when the vehicle inexplicably accelerated to speeds exceeding 100 mph. According to a 911 call of the incident, Saylor was unable to stop the Lexus before it crashed and burst into flames, killing him, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law.

Lawyers for the class action claim that the evidence suggests that the causes of uncontrolled acceleration events are likely more complex than ill-fitting mats.

"For years, Toyota Motor Corporation has dismissed complaints of sudden acceleration as being the driver's fault," said McCuneWright attorney, David Wright. "But neither driver error nor floor mats can explain away many other frightening instances of runaway Toyotas. Until the company acknowledges the real problem and fixes it, we worry that other preventable injuries and deaths will occur."

Toyota's first response should be immediate changes to their control systems, so drivers can safely stop a sudden unintended acceleration event, Wright said.

More than 1,000 owners of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles have reported sudden vehicle acceleration since 2001, and at least 19 people may have been killed in subsequent crashes into trees, parked cars and other obstacles, a US newspaper reported Sunday.
 
The Los Angeles Times said it obtained the findings in an independent review of records of accidents and drivers' complaints involving Toyota and Lexus vehicles at the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other entities.

The paper quoted federal regulators as saying the vehicles of both the Toyota and Lexus brands had been involved in accidents which owners blamed on sudden and unintended acceleration at ''far more'' frequency than vehicles of any other automaker.

It reported the NHTSA said its records show that a total of 15 people died in crashes related to possible sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles from the 2002 model year and newer, compared with 11 such deaths in vehicles made by all other automakers.

See also: JAPAN: Toyota denies US safety cover up

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