What is sudden unintended acceleration?

Sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) affects vehicles, and is an occurrence where the vehicle suddenly speeds out of control. Usually in these cases, the driver is unable to stop it by traditional means such as applying the brake or even applying the emergency brake. This may result in a crash injuring the driver, other vehicle occupants, pedestrians, other vehicles and drivers, and structures the runaway vehicle may impact.

The issue of sudden unintended acceleration came into the spotlight in 2009, when Toyota announced a massive recall of Toyota and Lexus model vehicles after a crash resulted in the death of a Lexus driver and his family. The recall was blamed on defective floor mats that Toyota claimed trapped the gas pedal. Another recall followed, in which the sudden acceleration problem was blamed on a sticky accelerator pedal. The Toyota recall eventually involved millions of vehicles worldwide.

Lawyers investigating cases of serious injury and death in sudden unintended acceleration crashes believe the Toyota and Lexus vehicle electrical system is to blame for the problem. Toyota maintains the problem is caused by defective floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals and operator error.

Although the Toyota case is the most prominent due to its recent occurrence, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been examining the issue of SUA since the 1980s. It began a study of the problem in 1986 after what it called an “above average” number of incident reports involving sudden unintended acceleration.

Vehicles involved in reported SUA accidents in the 1980s are the Honda Accord and the Audi 5000. In 1997, the NHTSA recorded SUA accidents linked to Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees. Since 2000, there have been reports of SUA involving Ford Explorers, Ford Mustang Cobra, Kia Amanti and Kia Sehia, and several models of Toyota cars and trucks.

What can I do?

If you feel you have a claim, our attorneys would like to talk to you. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.


We're here to help!

We live by our creed of "helping those who need it most" and have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. If you feel you have a case or just have questions please contact us for a free consultation. There is no risk and no fees unless we win for you.

Fields marked    may be required for submission.
  1. I'm an attorney
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Beasley Allen representing family of man killed in...

Lawyers from Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. who successfully prosecuted the...
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration lawsuit ends in...

Our law firm tried the first sudden acceleration lawsuit last month against Toyota involving the...
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration lawsuit ends in...

An Oklahoma County, Okla., jury returned a verdict after a 3-week trial in favor of Jean Bookout and the...
Toyota Settlement

Toyota Settles Fatal Unintended Acceleration Lawsuit

Toyota and the families of Barbara Schwarz and Jean Bookout reached a confidential settlement in the...
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Jury finds Toyota guilty in sudden acceleration case,...

Toyota and the families of Barbara Schwarz and Jean Bookout reached a confidential settlement regarding...
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Jury finds Toyota liable in Oklahoma sudden...

A jury found that Toyota Motor is liable for a 2007 crash that left one woman dead and another seriously...
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Jury finds in favor of plaintiff in Toyota sudden...

An Oklahoma County, Okla., jury returned a verdict in favor of Jean Bookout and the family of Barbara...
Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Beasley Allen lawyers to try first Toyota Sudden...

The first trial for a personal injury and wrongful death claim related to Toyota sudden unintended...

Toyota billion-dollar settlement discussed by Beasley...

Beasley Allen shareholder W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, who served on the settlement committee and...

Florida judge finds Ford deceived court in sudden...

Ford Motor Company defrauded the court, lied to federal regulators, and covered up decades of evidence...

Deja Vu – Toyota recalling 2 million vehicles...

This morning Toyota is announcing a recall of more than 2 million vehicles in the United States, saying...

Attorneys say government findings on Toyota sudden...

On Feb. 8, the U.S. Department of Transportation released results of a 10-month study on the suspected...

A positive manner

Several years ago my brother and sister -in-law were in a terrible car accident. My sister in-law was paralyzed from her neck down. Beasley Allen handled the case for my brother to see to it that my sister-in-law received the proper and necessary care she needed. I appreciate the attorneys and staff of Beasley Allen in handling this matter quickly and in a positive manner. Good job Beasley Allen!!

—Joan