In response to the befuddling recall of nine million vehicles by motor behemoth Toyota -- don't worry, it's just brake failure, or is it the floor mats? -- Lakewood's Ryan Scharrel is punching the gas on a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer whose brand was built on reliability.
According to the document, Scharrel is acting "on behalf of all persons in the state of Colorado who own Toyota vehicles of model years 2004 through 2010" in the hope that the court system will tap the brakes on potentially lethal defects that "send the vehicles into a rapid, unexpected, uncontrollable, and unsafe acceleration."
The most pervasive of the issues involve "floor mat entrapment," which happens when the floor mat sticks and prohibits the driver from properly being able to control the accelerator. To alleviate this situation, Toyota announced a recall in November 2009 to shorten the length of the actual pedal. But the company hit a road block: The pedals and their mechanisms appear to have worsened the problem.
The potential number of plaintiffs in the class action is expected to reach more than 5.3 million, according to a complaint filed earlier this week by law firm Burg, Simpson, Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine (it's a mouthful). Check out the suit, filed with Colorado District Court, by clicking here.
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The specific models included in the class action filing are:
- 2007-2010 Camry;
- 2005-2010 Avalon;
- 2004-2009 Prius;
- 2005-2010 Tacoma;
- 2007-2010 Tundra;
- 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006-2010 IS250/IS350 2009;
- 2008-2010 Highlander;
- 2009-2010 Corolla;
- 2009-2010 Venza;
- 2009-2010 Matrix;
- 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe;
- 2010 Toyota RAV4;
- and 2008-2010 Toyota Sequoia;
Yes, you read right: The Prius, which has been targeted with plenty of complaints about sudden acceleration, may not be included in Toyota's recall, but it is listed in Scharrel's suit.
As for the rest of you disappointed Toyota owners and ostensibly cracked-out drivers hoping to jump onto this particular bandwagon, the multi-state Burg, Simpson, Eldredge, Hersh and Jardine firm has an office in Englewood. Just be careful on your drive there. That gas pedal can be tricky.