Cars provide an efficient means of transportation for many people in Montana. There is an expectation that car manufacturers follow safety regulations to ensure that the final product is free of malfunctioning or faulty parts. However, despite all the regulatory oversight, there are times when a defective product slips through the cracks and poses a safety risk to consumers. This may mean a product liability lawsuit for the manufacturer.

Car owners in Montana who drive a 2006 Toyota Camry may be aware that the Japanese multibillion car maker issued a worldwide recall of millions of its vehicle after numerous drivers reported that their cars were unexpectedly accelerating. In fact, recently a wrongful death suit was filed against the company on behalf of the family of a woman who was killed in 2009 after the 2006 Toyota Camry she was driving unexpectedly accelerated. Despite her efforts to stop the car, the woman was unable to do so and crashed into a tree and light pole.

The wrongful death suit alleges that Toyota is at fault because they failed to install a brake override system in the 2006 Camry. However, Toyota notes that the 2006 Camry had a state of the art braking system and the override system would have done nothing to prevent the tragic accident.

Nevertheless, after Toyota recalled millions of cars due to the acceleration issue, they agreed to pay nearly $1 billion in other related suits.

In general, manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe for consumers to use. In this case, many consumers reported the acceleration issue with the car and accordingly Toyota recalled the vehicles. However, every case and the circumstances surrounding the injury are different. It is important to keep in mind that where harm to a consumer or others results due to a malfunctioning brake system or other defective product, the negligent manufacturer of the faulty and defective product may be liable for damages.

Source: CBS, “Lawyer To Seek $20 Million In Wrongful Death Suit Against Toyota,” August 8, 2013