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Toyota Recall: California Prosecutors Suing Toyota Because of Acceleration Problems


The Detroit Free Press and BBC News have reported that prosecutors in Orange County, California will sue Toyota because Toyota knew about defects in several Toyota model lines, but did not tell consumers.

From the BBC:

Officials in Orange County, in southern California, claim Toyota knew of defects with the acceleration system in several models, but did not tell customers.

"We’ll be alleging in court, on behalf of the people of Orange County, that Toyota knowingly sold cars and trucks with defects that caused Toyotas to accelerate suddenly and uncontrollably," said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.


Toyota’s US headquarters are in California – that is why prosecutors say they can bring charges and it is thought to be the first such case based on US consumer protection laws.

It is claimed the company carried out fraud by hiding evidence of dangerous vehicle defects.

Meanwhile federal investigators are examining if there are grounds for criminal charges.

From the Detroit Free Press:

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Orange County prosecutors say they’ll file a lawsuit against Toyota because of continuing problems with their vehicles.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas says the company continues to endanger the public through sale of defective vehicles and deceptive business practices.

California may be the first state to go after Toyota for hiding evidence of the sudden acceleration problem, but it’s not likely to be the last. Federal prosecutors are considering criminal charges against Toyota.

Since the beginning, Toyota has been more focused on protecting its image and covering its [rear] than making sure its vehicles are safe for Toyota owners and other innocent drivers. Toyota has gone so far as to provide its litigation defense lawyers with an unlimited budget to attack any report that suggests Toyota’s electronics could cause sudden acceleration. Toyota’s attorneys designed the testing to protect Toyota rather than to protect Toyota drivers.

Throughout the sudden acceleration time line, one thing has been consistent: Toyota has consistently misled the public about the nature and severity of the Toyota sudden acceleration problem. When given the opportunity to come forward with information, Toyota has chosen lie after lie after lie.

The Detroit Free Press has documented how Toyota has stonewalled the investigation of these problems since at least 2003. Now, Toyota has said its own data recorders are not reliable. What are these black boxes saying that has Toyota withholding this evidence?

After dragging its feet and being called "safety deaf" on the sudden acceleration recall, Toyota did it again when Toyota knew of the problems with its Prius brakes long before warning its drivers, customers and innocent motorists.

It is time that Toyota is finally held accountable for putting profits over safety and for putting money ahead of human life.

You can learn more at our safety blog and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.


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  1. tedi says:
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    In a state that is days away from bankruptcy, this guy Rackauckas is willing to blow millions of taxpayer dollars whoring votes. Cutting education and using taxpayers money for false claims.

    I am OC residence a sick of those policitians.

    OC had bankruptcy before due to a moron like this DA.

    Robert Lafee Citron is a Democratic Party politician who was the longtime Treasurer-Tax Collector of Orange County, California, when it declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy on December 6, 1994. The bankruptcy was brought on by Citron’s investment strategies The loss incurred by the usage of these financial instruments reached the amount of $2 billion .

  2. chris says:
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    These State bustards think that will be an other tobacco settlement>Since when (how many cases ) they care about “consumer safety”?
    “We’ll be alleging in court, on behalf of the people of Orange County, that Toyota knowingly sold cars and trucks with defects that caused Toyotas to accelerate suddenly and uncontrollably,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

    This sob needs to be arrested and thrown to jail because he is about to SPEND MY MONEY TO GO AFTER TOYOTA.Is this bustard saying that will distribute EVERY PENNY TO TOYOTA OWNERS ID HE WINS? Off course NO.I have my email and he can contact me to tell to his face that he is A CROOK and I hope the judge throws out his case.

  3. Brett Emison says:
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    tedi and chris,

    Thank you both for reading and taking the time to comment. I do not understand the venom you both are spewing toward the Orange County Prosecutors for taking on Toyota.

    Let’s think about this for a second.

    We know that Toyota has admitted there is a problem with its vehicles that cause them to run out of control. Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide. Toyota stopped production of at least 8 model lines while it “fixed” the problem.

    We also know that Toyota attempted to hide evidence of this defect for at least five years (http://kansascity.injuryboard.com/automobile-accidents/sudden-acceleration-toyotas-history-of-covering-up-potential-safety-problems.aspx?googleid=276070 and http://kansascity.injuryboard.com/automobile-accidents/toyota-recall-lies-lies-and-more-lies.aspx?googleid=278496).

    Question: When a Toyota vehicle runs out of control, who provides the recue?

    Answer: You do. Your tax dollars fund the Highway Patrol who must respond to the scene.

    Question: When a Toyota vehicle runs out of control, who provides the emergency medical care?

    Answer: You do. Your tax dollars fund the Ambulance, EMT, Life Flight and Firefighters that must respond to the crash site.

    Question: When a Toyota runs out of control, who pays for damage to roads, guardrails, etc.?

    Answer: You do. Your tax dollars pay for the road crews to repair public property.

    Question: When someone is severely injured when a Toyota runs out of control, who pays for the medical costs?

    Answer: You do. Unless the victim is a multimillionaire, your tax dollars fund Medicare and Medicaid, which will have to support the injured person and his family.

    I don’t understand why you are so angry with the prosecutor who is simply trying to get your money back.

    Why should you be forced to pay for Toyota’s negligence? Why should you be forced to subsidize Toyota’s defect?