A couple of years back, Toyota was the object of not-so-pleasant publicity when accusations of sudden acceleration of some of its vehicles came to light. Despite these well-publicized complaints, Toyota has long maintained that the vehicles were free from what many suspected were electronic flaws causing the acceleration. This stance seemed to be supported by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), both of which failed to trace the issue to any defects in Toyota's source code as a cause of the problem.
Despite these findings, the controversy sparked an onslaught of lawsuits against Toyota. Judge James Selna consolidated the cases in U.S. District Court in California and last week it was announced that Toyota has agreed to a settlement valued between $1.2 and $1.4 billion, including direct payments to consumers and installation of a brake-override system in an estimated 3.25 million vehicles.