Attorneys for the 9-year-old son of a man killed in a collision on New Year’s Eve filed suit against Toyota in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month. Named defendants in the civil action include the driver, Avis Rent a Car, Toyota Motor Corp. and additional Toyota companies.
According to the petition, there have been problems for the last 14 years with Toyota vehicles accelerating on their own to dangerous speeds the drivers are unable to control. The court filings referred to the rental car as “dangerous and defective.”
The accident happened in the early evening hours in Ontario, California, on Vineyard Avenue, causing the deaths of five people. The defendant was driving a Yaris eastbound on I-10 in San Bernardino County. As she took the Vineyard Avenue exit off the freeway, she alleged the rental car sped up suddenly to 100 mph, causing her to crash into a Toyota Solara.”
Everyone in the Solara died — the 29-year-old father of the minor plaintiff and his three friends, ages 29, 30 and 37. In the Yaris, a 7-year-old boy was also fatally injured.
In a statement released to the media, Toyota Motor North America Inc. denied liability, stating that they denied the crash was caused by a “vehicle-based issue.”
Both the California Highway Patrol and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continue to investigate the circumstances of the accident.
Some accidents are simply an unfortunate set of circumstances converging at the same time and place. Others are completely preventable events that are attributed to negligence on the part of individuals or entities. In the latter cases, taking legal action could net financial recovery for medical bills and other damages.