It looks like Los Angeles will be ground zero for the debate over Toyota's problems with alleged “sudden-acceleration” in its vehicles as about 200 lawsuits against the carmaker will be consolidated and heard in federal court downtown, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced Friday.

U.S. District Judge James V. Siena will preside over the cases which range from plaintiffs who claim they lost value as a result of Toyota's “sticky pedal” and floor-mat recalls of 8.5 million vehicles to those who have actually lost loved ones to alleged sudden-acceleration crashes.

Torrance-based Toyota made the request in San Diego last month to consolidate all the sudden-acceleration and recall-related cases in Los Angeles.

-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.

LA Weekly