Sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) is a vehicle defect that occurs when a vehicle is unable to slow down or stop due to electronic failure or something in the way of the pedals, such as an insecure floor mat. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 166 complaints regarding SUA. Although these incidents were reported to occur in more than 22 different vehicle brands, Toyota and Lexus vehicles were responsible for over 33 percent of all sudden unintended acceleration complaints. In fact, Toyota had more SUA reports than GM, Honda, Nissan and Chrysler combined.
Damages Can Be Fatal
Tragically, when sudden unintended acceleration occurs, it typically has severe, if not fatal, consequences, as drivers are usually unable to get control of the vehicle and the car eventually crashes. More 300 people are killed and over 5,400 are injured in SUA accidents each year, according to NHTSA.
Given the severity of these types of auto accidents, as well as the fact that they are usually caused by an auto manufacturer's negligence, injured parties will most likely have a legal claim against the maker of their car, allowing them to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in an SUA accident, or if you have lost a loved one in such a crash, contact the highly qualified personal injury lawyers at Pfaff & Gill, Ltd.
Leading Illinois Sudden Unintended Acceleration Attorneys
Since 1991, our esteemed legal team, headed by Brad Pfaff, has been committed to aggressively representing the rights of car accident victims throughout the state of Illinois. Mr. Pfaff is only one of two attorneys in Illinois who has the elite distinction of winning more than four settlements over $10 million for his clients. Michael T. Gill and Matthew D. Ports, both named â€śRising Starsâ€? by SuperLawyers, along with a staff of highly skilled paralegals and various specialists complete our legal team that is dedicated to helping the injured and their families.
Car Manufacturers' Response to SUA Reports
Reports of sudden unintended acceleration have been in U.S. headlines for about 30 years. In fact, throughout the 1980s alone, there were more than 1,000 SUA reports filed with the NHTSA. Some of the most recent incidences of SUA include:
- In September 2009, Pismo Beach, California: A man was injured and his wife was killed when their Camry suddenly accelerated, failed to stop and drove over a cliff into the surf.
- In August 2009, San Diego, California: A family of four (including a California Highway Patrol officer) dies when the floor mat caught and forced down the accelerator in their Lexus, causing the car to suddenly accelerate and ultimately crash into an embankment.
In response to such tragedies, some auto makers have issued recalls to fix faulty electronic systems and to secure floor mats. In fact, in response to the above-mention August accident, Toyota recalled 3.8 million vehicles the following month, as they were all suspected of having defective floor mats. The specific makes and models recalled by Toyota last year include:
- 2005-2010 Avalon
- 2004-2009 Prius
- 2007-2010 Lexus ES350
- 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350
- 2005-2010 Tacoma
- 2007-2010 Tundra
SUA Accident Lawsuits & Settlements
Victims of SUA crashes, as well as families of those killed by SUA accidents, will most likely have a legal right to collect compensation for losses such as:
- Funeral and burial costs, in the event of an SUA fatality
- Outstanding medical bills
- Ongoing treatment costs
- Permanent disabilities
- Lost wages during recovery
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
We are here to help victims recover compensation for their injuries and losses. At Pfaff & Gill, Ltd., our legal team is committed to helping victims get through the legal process as efficiently and painlessly as possible. For more information about your potential case, contact a lawyer that is experience with sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) litigation today.