Date: Oct. 26, 2007
Victim: Tyrene Livingston
Location: East Pittsburgh, Pa.
Model: 2007 Toyota Yaris
Details: Less than a week after taking her Yaris to a Toyota shop with complaints about braking problems, Tyrene Livingston was en route to her teaching internship in East Pittsburgh, Pa., when the vehicle suddenly accelerated out of control, according to police reports and a lawsuit filed by her mother, Sandra Livingston.
The Yaris crossed four lanes of highway at high speed, went over a curb, crashed through a guard rail and plunged into trees at the bottom of an embankment, killing the University of Pittsburgh graduate student, the suit said. It alleges design defects in the Yaris' electronic throttle control, negligence by Toyota in selling Livingston a vehicle with known risks of sudden unintended acceleration and wrongful death in the 21-year-old woman's demise.
The aspiring educator had taken her car to the dealership four days before the wreck that took her life, Sandra Livingston said in the lawsuit.
"The vehicle was inspected and tested, and Tyrene was ensured that nothing was wrong," says the suit filed in Los Angeles federal court last week.
The Yaris has not been recalled.
-- Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert Faturechi