In the wake of Toyota's manufacturing difficulties, a Westchester couple has filed a lawsuit against the flickering auto company after a freak accident in 2008 killed their five year old son. Nancy Murtha of Cortlandt attempted to apply the brakes in her Lexus RX350 when instead, the vehicle accelerated out of control and smashed into a stone wall. Murtha was knocked unconscious into a coma for six days. Her son, Jacob, who was in the back seat (wearing a seatbelt) sustained critical injuries and died hours later.

In the federal suit, Lawyer Todd Walburg said, "Toyota's failure to properly remedy the defects in the electronic throttle control system found in various Lexus and Toyota vehicles has resulted in the death of a beautiful boy and devastation of his loving family." Toyota, however, insists that there is nothing wrong with its throttle systems and remarks that accidents associated with this claim are attributed to mechanical flaws.

A reasonable number of lawsuits have been filed against Toyota in forty states due to defective accelerators. With over 2.3 million Camrys and Corollas recalled for sticky pedals, and 300,000 Priuses ordered back for faulty brakes, it hasn't been a very good year for Toyota—although yesterday The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided that the driver of a Toyota Prius which crashed into a stone wall in Harrison, NY was not trying to brake at the time of the crash.