Although Toyota eliminated the unintended acceleration issue, it still has to fight other cases.
Even if the unintended acceleration case has been settled, as Toyota agreed to pay $1.1 billion to put the matter behind it, the company still has to deal with possibly hundreds of personal injury lawsuits related to the same problem.
“Those are not billion-dollar cases. Those are at best million-dollar cases or multimillion-dollar cases. With a company like Toyota, that’s not even something that’s a blip on their radar,” said Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies and an outspoken critic of Toyota.
The recall over the unintended acceleration issue surprised everyone as Toyota was associated with reliability and quality. Although President Akio Toyoda apologized publicly, the company’s image will still has to suffer. Lee Kaplan, a product liability lawyer in Houston, said that the plaintiffs will have a rough road ahead of them as they have to prove deficiencies in Toyota’s equipment.
“I have never seen anyone identify the single cause of the problem,” he said. “Without identifying a true scientific or technical basis, pinning a verdict on Toyota will be hard.”
Toyota agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle the litigation and to compensate customers for economic losses caused by the possible safety defects.