Allstate Sues Toyota Over Unintended Acceleration Claims, More Insurance Suits Likely
The day after Toyota announced that it still hasn’t found an electronic cause for unintended acceleration in its vehicles and that UA complaints are down 80%, Consumer Affairs reports that Allstate Insurance filed a $3m suit against the Japanese automaker, claiming it “essentially hid the problem.” The suit, filed in the Southern Californian district court that is hearing all UA-related suits against Toyota allegesThis has resulted in numerous claims of instances of property damage and injuries, including in some instances fatalities
Furthermore, the suit claims that it had to compensate UA-related claims because Toyota hadn’t fitted a brake-override to its vehicles, a feature that is not yet required by law. Toyota is adding brake-override to all of its 2011 models, but claims that Allstate’s charges “have no basis.”
Still, CA reckons other insurance firms are “likely” to follow Allstate’s example and add to the pile of civil suits that is stacking up against Toyota (estimated at as much as $10b in liabilities). And Allstate’s Christina Loznicka tells Moneycontrol
We are expected to be one of several insurance companies that are taking this action
Meanwhile, Toyota’s latest response to UA debacle is to put more Americans in leadership positions in the US, including the lead design spots for new versions of the Venza, Tundra and Avalon.
Isn't Allstate where Mark LaNeve, the old GM marketing and sales guy, went? hmm...
To add to Toyota's problems, apparently the 11 Camry only scores 3 stars on the new NHTSA tests. The Sonata managed 5 stars. Talk about a major reversal. http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/05/autos/new_nhtsa_crash_tests/index.htm
Furthermore, the suit claims that it had to compensate UA-related claims because Toyota hadn’t fitted a brake-override to its vehicles, a feature that is not yet required by law That would set an interesting precedent. Are we going to see suits of other marques (Ford) who have SUA problems and don't have brake-override? Are we going to see suits for other companies who don't supply all possible safety equipment (side/curtain airbags, ESC, BLIS, Pre-Safe, etc). Allstate is doing this because they have to. If they don't, their own stakeholders would sue them for failure to exercise due diligence.
eh, as always, follow the money.