Toyota Accused of Hiding Evidence on Rollover Deaths

Lawsuit from former company lawyer says Toyota concealed documents in hundreds of cases
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 3:56 AM CDT
Toyota may face an avalanche of reopened lawsuits if accusations from one of its former leading counsels are found to be true.   (AP Photo/Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
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(Newser) – A former top lawyer for Toyota says the company concealed evidence relating to hundreds of rollover accidents that caused death and injury, the Los Angeles Times reports. The attorney, who says he was forced to resign from the firm in 2007, has filed a lawsuit alleging that engineering data that proved its SUV roofs were substandard was destroyed, and that the company forced him to illegally withhold information.

Toyota denies the accusations, calling the lawyer a disgruntled former employee out for revenge. Analysts say the allegations, if true, could have enormous financial consequences for the company. "The petition alleges conduct by Toyota that would cause every case ever resolved by Toyota in the past 10 years to be reopened,” said one Texas lawyer. "We intend to ask the courts to re-open these lawsuits.”