Litigation

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP Files Injury Lawsuit Against Toyota

LOS ANGELES — Robert J. Nelson of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP has announced that Chin Lin, formerly of Arcadia, Calif., along with his wife Pei Yen Cheng and daughter Jessica Lin, on Feb. 16 filed a lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. seeking compensation for injuries they suffered when their 2005 Toyota Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed. The accident rendered Lin a quadriplegic.

 “The complaint charges that Toyota for years was aware its vehicles were susceptible to incidents of sudden, unintended acceleration, posing a significant risk of injury and death to vehicle occupants, other motorists, and pedestrians,” Nelson said. “Yet, Toyota never made any significant changes to improve the acceleration system and the electrical system, in spite of the availability of several safe and inexpensive alternative designs and feasible modifications.”

According to the lawsuit:

Since 2001, the electronic throttle system in most Toyota vehicles, including the 2005 Toyota Camry driven by Lin, has relied on sensors, microprocessors and electronic motors instead of a mechanical linkage, such as a steel cable, to connect the accelerator pedal to the engine throttle plate.

The 2005 Toyota Camry, which Toyota has not yet recalled, and millions of other Toyota vehicles were not equipped with a safety feature, known as “brake-to-idle” override. The feature, used by other automotive manufacturers, enables drivers to override the electronic throttle and control the vehicle in the event of a sudden unintended acceleration.

The complaint was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court as two of the primary defendants, Toyota Motor North America Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales Inc., are both California corporations with their headquarters in Los Angeles County.

As set forth in the complaint, on March 1, 2007, Chin Lin, 57, and his wife, Pei-Yen Cheng, 58, were driving their daughter, Jessica Lin, 22, to an interview at the University of Pacific, where Jessica hoped to attend school. The family was riding in their 2005 Toyota Camry and each of them was wearing seatbelts.

Chin Lin was driving, Pei-Yen Cheng was in the front passenger seat, and Jessica Lin was in the back seat. They were in the left lane proceeding south on Interstate 5 in California. The car pulled slightly to the left so Lin straightened it out, then quite suddenly, the vehicle shot off like an arrow. The brakes failed and Lin lost control as the vehicle crossed to the right side of the highway, went over the shoulder, and flew airborne off the side of the highway.

The Camry rolled over several times and landed at the bottom of a hill where it finally came to a stop upside-down on its hood. Lin suffered grievous injuries, including fractured vertebrae in his cervical spine, rendering him quadriplegic. He now requires 24-hour care and will never work again. Pei Yen Cheng suffered head trauma, fractured ribs and other injuries. Jessica Lin also suffered back and other injuries.
Before the incident, Lin was a mechanical engineer in a managerial position in which he supervised other engineers in the design and building of propulsion systems for cargo ships.

Legal Resources For Drivers And Passengers Injured In Toyota Sudden Acceleration Accidents.

Lieff Cabraser represents persons injured in accidents involving Toyota and Lexus vehicles that suddenly accelerated across America. If you would like to learn more about your legal rights please visit http://www.usautoinjurylaw.com/cases/defects/acceleration/toyota-lexus.htm or call toll free at 1-800-541-7358 and ask to speak to attorney Todd Walburg.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP is a 60-plus attorney law firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972. Learn more at www.lieffcabraser.com.