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

Attorneys, investigators fire back at NHTSA proposed...

MONTGOMERY, ALA. (April 6, 2010)  - Yesterday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration...

U.S. to seek $16.4 million fine against Toyota

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Transportation Department said Monday that it would seek the maximum penalty,...

Decision expected on Toyota MDL

Nearly 200 lawsuits have been filed so far in federal and state courts throughout the country. The...

Toyota Investigation in Birmingham

Birmingham is now the site of an investigation into a fatal wreck involving a Toyota Camry. Attorneys...

Memo reveals Toyota blamed unintended acceleration on...

Memo reveals Toyota blamed unintended acceleration on electronics in 2002. New evidence has emerged...

NHTSA pressured Toyota to install brake override twice...

Had Toyota executives listened to U.S. Transportation officials in 2007, a lot of sudden acceleration...

Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration Map

This map lists sudden acceleration complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety...

‘Smoking gun’ memo reveals Toyota was...

Toyota factory workers in the United States have been warning company executives since 2006 of some...

‘Smoking Gun’ memo may seal Toyota’s...

Reports have surfaced today that Toyota officials were forced to turn over a memo produced by its own...

Beasley Allen takes part in Toyota hearings on Capitol...

Beasley Allen attorney Graham Esdale has been actively investigating claims of sudden unintended...

Chairman Towns rebukes Toyota, demands response

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced...

The Toyota Timeline

Now more and more lawsuits are being filed by families who have lost loved ones because of the sudden,...

Thanks and deep appreciation for all your work

Thanks and deep appreciation for all your work and expertise. We were able to afford many things with our settlement. Many, many thanks again and again. God bless you always.

—Thelma