The lawsuit, filed by Opal Gay Vance, was expected to go to trial on January 21, according to the Guardian (12/14/13), but was settled out of court for an undetermined amount. The West Virginia Record (4/18/12) reports that the accident happened on March 18, 2010, when Vance was running errands. The Toyota Camry she was in reportedly accelerated unexpectedly. Vance was able to slow the vehicle and attempted to get out of traffic, but as she did, the car accelerated again and she lost control.
Vance’s vehicle then collided with a trailer and Vance suffered “disabling and permanent back and neck injuries, including a fractured vertebra.” The lawsuit, which sought compensatory and punitive damages, alleged the vehicle was not properly designed or fitted with failsafe software. Vance’s lawsuit was case number 12-C-066.
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In 2010, Toyota recalled more than two million vehicles due to issues with the accelerator pedals and another four million due to a risk of pedal entrapment. In February 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report clearing Toyota’s electronic systems from blame in the acceleration issue, but a letter from Senator Charles Grassley to the NHTSA (7/12/12) asked why the organization would clear Toyota when NASA investigators raised alarms about problems with Toyota’s electronics.