Total Recall

Lawsuits Mount Against Toyota

Toyota’s decision to stop selling eight models due to a faulty gas pedal and floor mats while some eight million cars are repaired will cost the company billions of dollars, and that’s before the lawsuits start swallowing money. At least 10 lawsuits against the car company are seeking class-action status in U.S. and Canadian courts. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has no proof that anyone has been hurt by a stuck pedal, five people have died due to floor mats snagging the accelerator. Experts say car owners will have trouble winning damages if they can’t show that they experienced sudden acceleration—fear that it could happen is not enough. But Toyota might be more at risk in states that say companies have a “duty to warn” customers about a defect. Some may sue over loss of resale of their cars, now that there’s a stigma attached to their models. Whatever the outcome, it’s likely Toyota will be dealing with a public relations nightmare for a long time.