One day after Christmas, Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle a class action lawsuit related to claims that millions of its vehicles accelerated unintentionally. The New York Times reported that the proposed settlement would be one of the largest of its type in automotive history, and the Japanese automaker would make cash payments for the loss of value on vehicles affected by multiple recalls and install special safety features on up to 3.2 million cars if the agreement is approved by a federal judge.
Under the proposed settlement, Toyota agreed to create a fund of $250 million to pay claims to former owners of cars affected by the acceleration recalls, according to the Times. The company said it had already installed so-called “brake override systems” on 2.6 million vehicles whose pedals could stick or become trapped in floor mats, but also agreed to install the systems on an additional 550,000 cars that had not received the equipment. The proposed settlement would also provide a customer support program for more than 16 million current Toyota owners, who would be eligible for free repairs on certain parts for up to 10 years. Toyota recalled more than eight million vehicles in the United States for problems related to floor mats that could become entangled with accelerator pedals, or pedals that could stick with the throttle open.
The Times reported that the overall settlement could total $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion, and it noted that the figure “eclipses other settlements in the auto industry,” such as Bridgestone Corp’s $240 million payout to Ford Motor Co. in 2005 over Ford’s massive Firestone tire safety recall in 2001. In that case, Ford replaced 13 million Firestone tires in one of the biggest recalls in US history.
You can find information about defective products in class action litigation by visiting our website. If you purchased a product that harmed you and may be hazardous to many others, contact our firm at (800) 687-3333 or use the form on this page to let our class action attorneys review your case.
Stanley Iola, LLP – Class action lawyers