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December 19, 2014

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Toyota sued in Las Vegas over vehicle defects

Findlay Toyota Recall Repairs

Mechanics at Findlay Toyota in Henderson repair recalled vehicles for sticky gas pedals and unsecured floor mats Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

Toyota Motor Corp. was sued in Las Vegas on Friday over defects that have led to a massive worldwide recall.

Friday's lawsuit was filed in Clark County District Court by attorney Dennis Kennedy of the Las Vegas law firm Bailey Kennedy.

Friday's class-action is one of more than 40 lawsuits filed in more than 30 states over defects involving faulty gas pedals and floor mats linked to sudden-acceleration incidents -- incidents linked to serious accidents and fatalities.

Kennedy said he is the lead Nevada counsel in a nationwide consortium of attorneys who have filed or are filing class-action lawsuits against Toyota for recently revealed defects. The group is called the Attorneys’ Toyota Action Consortium.

“This is a crisis that threatens Toyota’s existence and must be resolved quickly,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Toyota owners want answers. Our clients are uncertain about which models and years are affected, and whether repairs will even fix what’s wrong with their Toyotas.”

“We believe it is in everyone’s interest to resolve these matters now, rather than subject Toyota -- and loyal purchasers of Toyota vehicles in the U.S. -- to years of difficult litigation,” said Kennedy.

The Los Angeles Times reported Feb. 12 that legal woes are mounting for Toyota because of recalls -- and even Toyota owners could face liability.

The Times said Toyota is being sued over accidents involving sudden acceleration, loss of use of vehicles while they're repaired and the loss in value of affected Toyotas.

Also, experts told the Times, Toyota owners could be sued if they are aware of recalls of their vehicles, don't act and then are involved in an accident.

Also this week, Toyota said President Akio Toyoda will testify at a Feb. 24 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on recalls and safety issues at the world's largest automaker.

Toyota faces at least three hearings into its recall of more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for defects including unintended acceleration. U.S. regulators also are investigating the company’s Corolla sedan, the world’s top-selling car, for a possible steering flaw.

Congress will also examine the failure of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to use its legal authority to force recalls, Rep. Darrell Issa of California said.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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