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Toyota Accelerator Caused Rollover

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Big Bear Lake, CA"I had never rolled a vehicle in my life—I'm 46 and I do a lot of driving," says Jim. But then one day, the accelerator pedal on his Toyota 2005 Tundra stuck and he spun out of control at 60 mph. "What's weird is that Toyota hasn't filed a lawsuit against me—I believe they know they don't have a hope in hell, especially now that a class action lawsuit has been filed against them," says Jim.

"I hit a mud puddle and [the car] was still accelerating through the puddle…Then we hit dry dirt and we rolled four and a half times and landed upside down"
"I was driving down a dirt road with two friends and two dogs in the back cabin," he explains. "I live in the country and we were heading toward my house. There was a curve in the road so I slowed down and then accelerated for the straight-away. But the pedal got stuck and it kept accelerating. I hit a mud puddle and it was still accelerating through the puddle. My intended speed was 45 mph but I believe it accelerated up to 60 mph.

"It happened so fast—like a dream. I was pumping the gas from 0 to 45 but because the rear tires were spinning, it spun the truck sideways. Then we hit dry dirt and we rolled four and a half times and landed upside down. My roof was crushed so far down there was about six inches left between the roof and where the window comes out of the door.

"We landed upside down; I crawled out the passenger side. My two friends were OK and I had no idea how the dogs got out but they were very frightened. They stood by the truck shaking. Luckily there were no broken bones.

"And here's another thing: We all had our seat belts on but the air bags did not deploy. I didn't know if I was seriously hurt; I was bleeding so badly from my head and I kept blacking out. We managed to get to the house and I was driven to ER, which is about 20 miles from my house. The highway patrolmen came to the hospital while I was getting about 20 staples in my head to close the wound. I was still going in and out of consciousness and had a concussion for about a week. I'm lucky to be alive.

"To this day I am still getting harassing phone calls from Toyota financial services, where I leased the truck. They call me at least twice a day, usually after 9 pm, demanding that I pay almost $25,000 because the truck was totaled and they had to sell it for junk. They repossessed it while it was in the in-pound yard, where it was towed and I only had it insured for basic coverage.

"I leased my truck at a Toyota dealership in Orange County and I just found out that the District Attorney in Orange County has filed a criminal case against Toyota for numerous similar accidents and deaths that have occurred because of the accelerator issue, and for bad business practices."

A class action lawsuit was filed against Toyota March 12, 2010. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said that the Japanese automaker "continues to endanger the public through sale of defective vehicles and deceptive business practices." To date approximately 90 class action lawsuits have been filed against Toyota and could cost them more than $3 billion.

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