Seven car insurance companies are seeking damages from Toyota as they believe the car manufacturer is to blame for a number of crashes which occurred as a result of a vehicle defect. In total 725 crashes in Toyota vehicles have been reported with possible links to an alleged engine malfunction which causes the car to suddenly accelerate, which has resulted in a number of accidents. The Japanese car manufacturer is also under fire from the car owners themselves, with several taking legal action against Toyota, as well as the car insurance companies. The car insurance companies claim that the crashes could have been avoided if an override system had been put in place by Toyota to come into action when the brake and accelerator pedal are being pushed at the same time. The car insurers are seeking damages of $230,000 for 14 crashes in Toyota vehicles which they believe could have been avoided. However Toyota refutes the claims that the crashes were caused by an engine defect, and instead put the problem down to sticky accelerator pedal and problematic floor mats. The car maker recalled a number of models including the Prius and Sienna last year to rectify issues connected to vehicle floor mats and pedals.