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W.Va. lawsuit targets Toyota

Class Action Lawsuit     updated  2010/01/31 18:42

Toyota's massive recall this month of millions of vehicles doesn't include every car that might have a faulty electronic throttle system that might cause unwanted acceleration, according to a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Charleston a couple of months ago.

On Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it would stop new sales of certain models, including such top sellers such as the Camry, Avalon, RAV4 and Tundra. Worldwide, the recall and sales freeze is expected to include as many as 9 million vehicles.

In the United States, the recall includes eight models, and goes back as far as 2005, and does not include any cars made by the automaker's Lexus division.

The Charleston lawsuit, filed in November, names 13 models that have an electronic throttle-control system, or ETCS, which allegedly has "a dangerous propensity to suddenly accelerate without driver input and against the intentions of the driver." And the time frame extends as far back as 2002 for Camrys, and 1998 for Lexuses.

Moreover, when reports of incidents caused by unwanted acceleration led to an investigation by a federal agency in 2004, the information provided by Toyota officials was limited in scope so as to exclude incidents that lasted longer than one second or where the driver couldn't stop the unwanted surge by applying the brake, according to the lawsuit.

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