Insurers to seek repayment from Toyota; South Florida car accident victims may seek reimbursement

The Associated Press office in Miami reports that U.S. automobile insurance companies are gearing up to recoup money paid in claims involving defective Toyota automobiles.

As we reported earlier this month on our South Florida Injury Lawyer blog, the government is seeking more than $16 million in fines against Toyota for failing to warn consumers of its “sticky pedal” defect in a timely fashion. Toyota has been forced to recall millions of vehicles this year for a variety of defects and the problems continued last week when its GX 460 SUV, part of the company’s flagship Lexus luxury line, was slapped with a “Don’t Buy” rating by Consumer Reports.

A South Florida injury attorney experienced in handling cases involving vehicle defects should be consulted anytime a motorist is concerned that a defective vehicle may have contributed to a serious or fatal accident.

At least six major insurers, including State Farm, Allstate and Geico, have started examining claims and will seek reimbursement from Toyota through a process known as subrogation. Motorists may also be entitled to reimbursement of insurance deductibles.

Motorists and insurers may be forced to prove the accident was caused by a vehicle’s defect and not other factors, which could require a great deal of time and case-by-case review, according to a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute.

At least 52 deaths have been linked to the sudden acceleration of Toyotas in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

More than 100 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Toyota. Those claims are being consolidated by a federal judge in California, along with about 130 lawsuits filed by Toyota owners who claim to be financially harmed by plummeting resale values.