Toyota sued over sudden-acceleration insurance claims

Other insurance companies also in talks with carmaker
Oct 8, 2010

Insurance company Allstate is suing Toyota Motor for $3 million over sudden-acceleration-related claims it has paid, alleging that the accidents "were caused by vehicle defects."

The amount will cover roughly 270 insurance claims Allstate paid out to Toyota claimants since January 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to Allstate, certain Toyota "cars and trucks have a defect that causes sudden uncontrolled acceleration to speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or more," as well as "defective electronics and the absence of a fail-safe, such as a brake-to-idle override system."

The report said other insurance companies are also in talks with Toyota about the sudden-acceleration claims.

Meanwhile, Toyota said investigation of over 4,000 vehicles revealed there is no evidence its electronic throttle controls are the culprit for the sudden acceleration problem experienced by drivers.

"Toyota has not found a single case in which electronics would lead to sudden unintended acceleration," said Steve St. Angelo, the carmaker's North American chief quality officer, told Bloomberg after investigating 4,200 individual acceleration-related complaints.

Toyota is working more closely with its North American suppliers to review parts designs and manufacturing processes and to test components more thoroughly, St. Angelo added.

According to Toyota, U.S. customer complaints of sudden acceleration have dropped by 80 percent since April.

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