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Toyota injury suits set for trial after recall settlement

The infamous acceleration issues that some Toyota vehicles reportedly experienced several years ago are back in the news. A settlement was recently reached between claimants and the automobile manufacturer for consumers who experienced economic loss due to associated recalls. No settlement has yet been reached for those claiming wrongful death against the company and its vehicles.

The Japanese automaker was forced to recall more than 14 million vehicles throughout the world after problems arose with acceleration and braking in many of its models. According to claims, these issues caused a fiery crash in August 2009 that resulted in the deaths of four individuals. Findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration led Toyota to begin issuing its recalls.

Workers driving the vehicles before the recalls were issued may have experienced injuries due to crashes caused by the reportedly unknown defects. Some of these workers could have been in Ohio, considering the sales reports for Toyota's models. Besides wrongful death claims, there are also personal injury claims that have yet to be settled against the company. Currently, reports indicate that the first trial for such claims is scheduled to begin during February of next year.

The aforementioned economic loss settlement will see Toyota pay $1.1 billion thanks to the suits made by hundreds of claimants. In addition, the company will give supplemental warranty coverage to approximately 16 million owners and will retrofit more than 3 million vehicles with brake override systems to ensure the safety of the drivers. Such a system will allow the brake to take over no matter what, even if the gas pedal is stuck.

This settlement will see payments issued to those who sold or turned in vehicles between the months of September 2009 and December 2010. It is not clear how much the payments will be or how many former owners will be included in the settlement.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal, "Settlement reached in Toyota acceleration cases," Greg Risling, Dec. 26, 2012

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