According to a PR Newswire release, a class action suit has been filed against Toyota and supplier CTS, alleging “inherent design defects,” specifically a “lack of failsafes” in Toyota’s ETCS-i (Electronic Throttle Control System-intelligent), in use since 2001. As in not the pedal assembly. A similar suit was filed in the US last November. Today, Toyota’s Jim Lentz was emphatic that electronics were not the issue with the ongoing recall, but shortly after the US suit was filed, Toyota quietly announced that an electronic brake override system would be installed on certain vehicles with automatic transmissions. Is that as good as an admission of guilt? You can bet the lawyers are already saying so. The full release is available after the jump.
TORONTO, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ – A national class action has been commenced on behalf of all Canadian owners, operators, lessors and/or passengers of Toyota vehicles with the ETCS-i throttling system.
The claim seeks compensation for losses and injuries as a result of the purchase or use of numerous Toyota vehicles. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., Toyota Canada Inc., Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. and CTS of Canada Ltd., CTS of Canada Holding Co., CTS of Canada GP Ltd., CTS of Canada Co. and CTS Corporation.
The claim, filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleges that Toyota and CTS Corporation knew or ought to have known of inherent design defects in the ETCS-i System and its component parts that have been used in models of Toyota vehicles manufactured since 2001. The consequences of these design defects, including the lack of failsafes used by other auto manufacturers, have resulted in numerous reports throughout North America of uncontrollable unintended accelerations, including cases of collisions involving severe injuries and death to drivers and passengers of these vehicles.
Joel P. Rochon, a partner at Rochon Genova LLP said: “This is a complex problem spanning several years and many models–we are concerned that the recent announcement of a “fix” appears not to address the ETCS-i Systems itself, nor the issue of a lack of failsafe which would permit the driver to regain control of the vehicle in the event of an unintended acceleration.”
“Having only purchased a brand new car a few weeks ago, I simply cannot believe that Toyota would have sold me this vehicle”, said the proposed representative plaintiff Steven Hamilton. “I can’t even resell my car now–I am seeking a full refund.”
The allegations raised in the claim have not yet been proven in court. The plaintiff and the proposed class members are represented by the firm of Rochon Genova LLP.
SOURCE ROCHON GENOVA LLP