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A lawsuit was filed against Toyota in Texas on Friday seeking class-action status on behalf of car owners who have experienced acceleration problems, allegedly due to defects in the Japanese car manufacturer's Electronic Throttle Control System with Intelligence ('ETCS-i') and Electronic Throttle Control System 'ETCS').
Plaintiffs Albert Pena and Sylvia Pena maintain that the 2008 Toyota Avalon they purchased as a new car has ETCS-i and ETCS defects that, in two separate incidents, caused a crash, and unexpected accelration when the car should have slowed down.
Husband Albert maintains that last month his Toyota "unexpectedly accelerated at a stop sign, causing a collision."
Wife Sylvia charges that when she was driving their Toyota Avalon, the couple's car "suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated while attempting to slow down to make a turn.
The Pena's contend that Toyota's ETCS-I and ETCS technology was responsible for problems with their car, since it control's their Toyota's throttle:
by electronic signals that are sent from a sensor that detects the position of the gas pedal to an electronic control module that determines how much throttle opening is being requested and in turn sends electronic signals to a throttle control motor that opens the throttle plate.
The lawsuit says that Toyota used to have a "redundant mechanical linkage" that, in the event of a ETCS-i failure, would disconnect the electronic throttle control system immediately switch over to allow the driver to control the throttle manually. Around 2001, the lawsuit states, Toyota and Lexus did away with this redundant mechanical linkage.
They charge that Toyota and Lexus owners have filed more than 2,000 complaints with the carmakers and government agencies concerning sudden unintended acceleration.
Corpus Christi lawyer Robert Hilliard represents that Albert and Sylvia Pena.
- Toyota Details Safety Fix, First Lawsuits Hit, Reuters Feb. 1, 2010)
- Toyota Accused of Playing Down Toyota Defects in Safety, FindLaw (Dec. 28, 200)
- More Toyota Recalls Over Accelerator Pedal Sticking Issues, FindLaw (Jan. 22, 2010)
- Patrick Nepute, Toyota Associate General Counsel
- Renee L. Miller, Attorney at Toyota Technical Center USA
- Frederick Mau, II, Attorney at Toyota Technical Center USA
- Stephen Tu, Lawyer for Toyota Technical Development Corp. in Japan
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