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Indiana woman sues Toyota due to recall

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A Hamilton County woman has filed a class action suit against Toyota, alleging fraud and breach of warranties as a result of the recent recall of Toyota vehicles.

Judith M. Enderle filed the suit Wednesday in federal court claiming Toyota knew their cars had defects in the accelerator systems when people purchased them, failed to recall the defective cars at the earliest possible date, and blamed the defect on floor mats.

She seeks class action certification, an award of punitive or exemplary damages against Toyota, restitution and disgorgement of profits, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. She also wants a jury trial.

Enderle purchased a 2006 Toyota Avalon from an Indianapolis Toyota dealer in 2006; that car is subject to the January 2010 recall. She seeks to bring this case as a class action for every person or entity in Indiana who owns a Toyota car that is subject to the recall for defects in the accelerator system. The suit only seeks recovery for economic losses of the class and not recovery for personal injury.

Enderle seeks damages from the company resulting from the "serious" safety defect that renders the vehicles unfit for their intended and expected purpose, according to the suit. She claims Toyota breached implied and express warranties, received unjust enrichment, and committed constructive fraud and negligence, and is liable for its design, manufacturing, and sales of the cars. Nearly 5.3 million cars have been recalled nationwide because of the accelerator defect.

The suit, Judith M. Enderle, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Toyota Motor North America Inc., et al., No. 1:10-CV-142, was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. She's represented by Cohen & Malad in Indianapolis.

Enderle's suit joins the list of lawsuits around the country filed by Toyota owners as a result of the recall. Irwin Levin, one of Enderle's attorneys, said he believes hers is the first one filed in Indiana. Some of those suits involve incidents of stuck gas pedals and injuries. Enderle's gas pedal has not become stuck, Levin said.

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