Some of the nation’s most popular insurance companies have begun to target Toyota over money they have paid out for crashes involving sudden acceleration. Unless you have been under a rock somewhere for the last several months you are well aware of Toyota’s recall of millions of vehicles due to problems with floor mats and gas pedals that caused some vehicles to suddenly accelerate. Trail lawyers have been targeting Toyota for months, but now it appears there is a new gang trying to recoup expenses from the Japanese automaker, insurance companies.
According to the Washington Post, at least six major insurers, including State Farm, Allstate, and Geico, have started examining claims that involve recalled vehicles to determine if Toyota may be liable for some of the claim money paid out. Insurers can pass the buck for these expenses if it can be determined that the defect was a key factor in the accident through a process called subrogation.
If the move is successful Toyota owners could see their out-of-pocket expenses refunded by their insurance providers, but premiums would most likely not be significantly affected.
Documents have shown that Sate Farm has sought reimbursement from Toyota for sudden acceleration accidents dating back to 2007. In fact, a letter provided to federal regulators requested a formal Toyota investigation of crash involving a 2005 that the sudden surged forward and hit another vehicle.
Experst are quick to point out that just because a recalled vehicle was involved in a accident, it does not mean that the defect was responsible for the accident.
In the end insurers will likely recover millions due to the sheer size of the recall and the popularity of Toyota, but most of the claims will be for small fender-bender type claims.