Sudden Acceleration Accident Lawyers
Defects That Cause a Driver to Lose Control Should Not Exist. We Help Clients Nationwide Bring Claims Against Negligent Manufacturers.
Runaway cars crashing because of unexpected accelerations have caused the deaths of at least 89 people and severely injured many more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received over 6,200 complaints about sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles in a scandal that peaked in 2010 with the automaker being assessed $16.4 million in fines. Four years later, the company was fined an additional $1.2 billion by the Department of Justice for concealing a defect in which floor mats could slide onto the accelerator.
Cases against Toyota have slowed as the company has focused on repairing this defect, but sudden acceleration accidents remain a serious concern. Our attorneys can help you file a claim if your car unexpectedly accelerated, causing a crash. We have filed cases against large automakers including Toyota and are unafraid to litigate your case. Our in-house engineering department gives us a unique edge when it comes to presenting your claim to juries. We want to help you hold negligent automakers accountable for defects that cause serious injury or even claim lives. Reach out today for a free consultation with our team.
Call The Gilbert Law Group® at (888) 711-5947 to speak with one of our sudden acceleration defect lawyers. Accident victims from across the U.S. are welcome to reach out.
Cars Implicated in Sudden Acceleration Accidents
Toyota and Lexus Recalls and Lawsuits
Between 2014 and 2019, Toyota settled 537 sudden acceleration claims. The company also paid out $1.1 billion in a 2013 class action suit. Reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles have declined, suggesting the company’s fixes were largely effective. However, in 2017 and 2018, two Lexus vehicles were involved in sudden acceleration accidents (the luxury brand is made by Toyota).
Toyota implied sticky accelerators and faulty car mats were to blame for the original mass recalls, but third-party investigators think there may be another culprit. The Electronic Throttle Control-intelligent (ETCS-i) throttle in Toyota uses sensors to detect the position of the gas pedal and adjust the throttle. It does not include a fail-safe mechanical link between the gas pedal and engine. Notably, incidents of sudden unintended acceleration are disproportionately concentrated among vehicle models containing the ETCS-i system.
The company released a throttle suppression system in 2018 to warn drivers about dangerous acceleration. The updated version, released in 2020, can suppress acceleration in certain situations. We are hopeful this fix does not contain the same shortcomings as the ETCS-i system.
Targets of Consumer Complaints
Toyota may be the brand that comes to mind when sudden acceleration accidents are mentioned, but it is not the only automaker that has been at the center of an investigation.
- Ford has faced multiple complaints after its Focus and Fiesta models experienced serious problems including sudden acceleration and slipping out of gear while being driven. The company covered up the severity of the problem and offered multiple ineffective “fixes” to owners of the affected models. More than 4,300 consumers complained to the government with 50 citing injuries caused by the vehicles’ malfunctions. Both the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta were discontinued as of 2019.
- Subaru Forester, Legacy, and Outback models have all had reported acceleration problems.
- Multiple owners of Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, and Model X vehicles have reported accidents caused by sudden acceleration when they were trying to park their cars. The company has settled some suits on the matter but continues to publicly blame drivers for these accidents.
Potential Causes of Sudden Acceleration Accidents
Among the different vehicles and models involved in sudden acceleration accidents, we have seen a variety of causes for this defect. If your car sped up unexpectedly, it is therefore important to have a knowledgeable attorney and engineering team on your side to help investigate. We can look for issues including:
- Transmission flaws, such as the dual-clutch transmission malfunctions seen in Ford vehicles. A transmission that slips out of gear may cause delayed acceleration.
- Software bugs were identified as a potential cause in Toyota and Lexus sudden acceleration cases. A faulty throttle control system or failure of a computer to register a brake press could lead to out-of-control acceleration.
- Floor mats were identified as the culprit in many Toyota sudden acceleration cases, and other automakers have pointed to them as a problem element as well. A floor mat that slides over the accelerator may depress it without the driver being aware.
- Sticky accelerator pedals, also to blame in many of the Toyota accidents, may stay depressed even after the driver has eased off, causing a car to continue accelerating.
Especially because automakers may cover up serious hazards, investigating these cases is not easy. Our firm has the resources and knowledge necessary to thoroughly examine your car if it suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated.
Recalls Don't Tell the Whole Story
Toyota has recalled a number of vehicles because of sticky accelerator pedals and floor mats. However, over half of the reported incidents of unintended acceleration involved Toyota and Lexus vehicles that were not subject to the recalls.
Check the manufacturer’s website to see if your car is on the recall list. If your car has been recalled, be sure to contact a Toyota dealer. There may be additional issues that the recall does not solve.
Catastrophic Injuries from Sudden Acceleration
Injuries caused by sudden acceleration are often catastrophic because of the high forces involved in these accidents. We can help clients who suffered severe damages including:
These injuries require long-term medical care and rehabilitation, costing families mental, emotional, and financial stress.
Call us today at (888) 711-5947 to discuss your case with one of our experienced auto defect attorneys. All initial consultations are free, and we serve clients across America.
Leaders in Product Liability
We’ve taken on big corporations like Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, and other automakers to protect the rights of injured consumers.
Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Law Firm
Our Firm is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and a recipient of "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News.
Making the World Safer
After being challenged by our lawyers, major companies have pulled defective products off the market.
Engineering Team on Staff
The Gilbert Law Group® is the only firm in the U.S. to have an in-house engineering team to assess and explain product defects.
Over One Billion Dollars Recovered
Since 1969, we have fought aggressively for our clients, never turning away from even the most formidable opponents.
When you are facing complex legal issues and high-profile defendants, you need a lawyer who knows how to fight these battles. Our team has taken on some of our nation’s biggest corporations and, with the help of our network of professional consultants and our skilled in-house engineering team, can help jurors make sense of highly technical evidence.
Record Trial Court Verdict - Products Case $52,000,000
Truck Burn Injury $51,100,000
Record Trial Verdict - Rear-end Collision $43,200,000
Jury Verdict Brain Damage Case $35,000,000
Heavy Truck Fire Case $29,500,000
Bad Faith Insurance - Head On Auto Collision $17.8 Million
Record Jury Verdict - Seat Belt Failure $17,500,000
Auto Accident $9,500,000
Auto Defect $9,000,000
Wrongful Death $8,400,000
If you suffered catastrophic injuries because of an unintended acceleration of your vehicle, or your brakes failed to promptly engage, our attorneys want to hear your story. We are dedicated to taking on automakers that release faulty cars—especially when the flaws can cause serious injury or death. Those who were seriously injured by defective autos need and deserve financial compensation so they can access treatment and continue to care for themselves and their loved ones. Ask us about your legal rights—we will provide an honest and forthright assessment of the merits of your claim.