The Washington Post is reporting that the class action case lawyers are saying that they have uncovered internal Toyota documents showing that as far back as 2003 the company knew about the problem of unintended acceleration in Toyota cars.
Apparently there is a 2003 "field report" where a company technician wrote up a case of the problem and requested immediate action because of the "extremely dangerous problem" and also said that "we are also much afraid of frequency of this problem in near future" the new court papers reportedly state.
If true, and apparently it is, then it could be the smoking gun that consumer advocates have suspected must exist.
More and more cases are being consolidated with the California class action meanwhile, including common lemon law claims arising from other defects.
Toyota sales fell slightly, 3.2% in July from a year earlier, reports the Detroit Free Press this afternoon. Their smaller models dropped too, including the Yaris, Corolla and the Prius models.
In other Toyota news, the man convicted of killing 3 people when his Toyota Camry couldn't be stopped in a 2006 crash, is before the court in St. Paul, Minn., arguing in court today that he should get a new trial since all the new evidence has come out about unintended acceleration in his and other Toyota cars.
The man, Koua Fong Lee, is serving an 8 year prison sentence and has always said that he tried to stop his 1996 Camry but the car just wouldn't let him. The prosecutors have argued that the man "hasn't come up with the decisive new evidence" that Minnesota requires for a new trial to be granted. Many observers disagree and the background story on Lee seems to point to an unexplained accident that the jury had no where to go with but to blame Lee when there was nothing to support his explanation of a runaway car.
Toyota's troubles just don't go away either. Since the sticking accelerator recalls that totalled about 9 million vehicles as of January 2010, there have been more recalls announced by Toyota and more lawsuits. Try as it might, Toyota just can't stay out of the headlines and the company's president's apology in February has not had the long-lasting effect that their public relations people had hoped for.
If you've got a lemon Toyota and the company won't take care of you, call or email us. Getting rid of lemons, and getting your money back, is what we do. Everyday.