Wayne Co. woman blames Toyota for sudden acceleration that caused crash

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 18, 2012

WAYNE -- A woman is suing Toyota Motor North America after her vehicle accelerated on its own and caused her to crash into another vehicle.

Toyota Motor Sale U.S.A., Inc.; Toyota Motor Corporation; and Advantage Toyota, Inc., were also named as defendants in the suit.

On March 18, 2010, at about 2:30 p.m., Opal Gay Vance was properly seat-belted into her 2010 Toyota Camry and was returning to her home in Newtown after running errands, according to a complaint filed March 14 in Wayne Circuit Court.

Vance claims as she was proceeding south on Route 152, her Camry's engine unexpectedly began to rev up and the vehicle surged forward.

At first, Vance was able to slow the vehicle with braking and she turned off Route 152 to try to get out of traffic and avoid injuring others, according to the suit.

Vance claims when she turned onto River Avenue, the vehicle's surging increased and its speed could no longer be controlled by the force of her foot on the brake pedal.

Despite Vance's due care and exertion of strength on the brake pedal, the vehicle continued forward and collided with another vehicle and a trailer parked in her path of travel, according to the suit.

Vance claims the collision caused her grievous, severe, disabling and permanent back and neck injuries, including a fractured vertebra.

The defendants failed to properly and adequately design the vehicle and failed to install a fail-safe software component and/or mechanical safeguard against sudden and unintended acceleration, according to the suit.

Vance claims the defendants also failed to properly and adequately warn of the dangers attendant upon use of the vehicle.

Vance is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Edgar F. Heiskell III, Thomas Murray, Molly O'Neill and Matthew J. Woelfel.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Darrell Pratt.

Wayne Circuit Court case number: 12-C-066

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