Car manufacturer Toyota is facing yet another product liability issue, after a driver imprisoned for causing a fatal car crash in the US filed a lawsuit against the corporation.
Koua Lee was jailed in 2006 after a court found him responsible for a Minnesota car crash in which three people died and several others were injured. The accident happened when Lee’s 1996 Toyota Camry crashed into another vehicle after leaving the freeway.
Lee was found to be liable for the crash and was imprisoned for two-and a half years, being released early after evidence regarding the safety of Toyota vehicles was reportedly produced. This happened at around the same time that the car firm had to recall millions of vehicles and pay a $16.4 million fine due to problems with accelerator pedals ‘sticking’.
Lee alleges that this ‘sticking pedals’ problem is what happened with his Toyota Camry, and what caused the crash. He is suing the car firm for damages due to the emotional distress suffered by his family and himself as a result of the crash and Lee’s incarceration.
Although the firm is likely to be covered by a professional insurance policy for product liability issues, Toyota is categorically denying the allegations made about Mr Lee’s Toyota Camry. A statement from the firm reads:
“Toyota believes that any unintended acceleration allegations are without merit.
“The 1996 Camry involved in this case has never been subject to an acceleration-related recall and is designed to meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.”