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Car Malfunction Possible Factor in California Crash

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

A fatal car accident in Ontario on Dec. 31 left five people dead, including a minor. The accident involved two vehicles and police are looking into a possible part malfunction as a factor.

The incident happened when a silver vehicle pulled out of a gas station and into the path of a red vehicle, which crashed into it. One of the people involved in the car crash, the driver of a Toyota Yaris, told police that the car began to accelerate without control, until it collided with the silver vehicle. One witness to the incident said that he saw one person ejected from one of the vehicles and that the fire department had tried to cut the car to get the people out.

The California Highway Patrol has stated that alcohol did not play a role in the collision and that they would be considering all possible factors, including a stuck accelerator. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will also be investigating through the agency's special crash investigations team. Toyotas and Lexus vehicles have had complaints of unwanted acceleration as well as been the subjects of recalls, investigations and lawsuits in the past.

In a case where a defective auto part is a suspected factor, an injured victim or the family of a decedent might decide to file a personal injury claim to recover damages suffered as a result of the accident. In such a case, a car company might be found liable for the accident. The victim or the surviving family members might seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer to find out what types of claims they can file and what types of compensation they might receive if their claims are successful.