Toyota is bracing itself for an influx of claims for compensation as the first cases against the defective cars were started in the USA. Toyota has recalled 180,000 cars in the UK alone, with many many more being recalled worldwide. The cars have now famously been called back because of a fault that causes the accelerator pedal to ‘stick’ on. Catherine Block, a 28 year old student in the UK describes the full horror of the problem with her Toyota Aygo. With no warning at all, her car would start accelerating all on its own even though her foot was nowhere near the accelerator pedal. The increase of speed could last from seconds to minutes and felt like “trying to hold on to a horse that was trying to bolt.” Despite attempts to get the problem fixed, her car continues to act with a mind of its own.
This problem is obviously extremely dangerous and has led to fatal accidents in the US. A family of four were unfortunately killed in California when their hired Lexus’ – Lexus is Toyota’s luxury arm – accelerator stuck on. In a chilling call to 911 operators, the driver Mark Saylor pleads for divine intervention as he reports their accelerator is stuck, brakes aren’t working and they are approaching a major junction. Lawyers have now started a claim for compensation against Toyota for this fatal accident. Toyota is also facing at least two compensation claims in the UK, with one person suffering a head injury in a road traffic accident. Toyota however, has declared that it has not discovered any accidents caused by faulty accelerators in the UK.