Toyota to shell out $1.4 billion to settle lawsuits

Toyota has announced that they have reached an agreement to resolve economic loss litigation in the US. Toyota has also announced a proposal to shell…

Toyota to shell out $1.4 billion to settle lawsuits

Toyota has announced that they have reached an agreement to resolve economic loss litigation in the US. Toyota has also announced a proposal to shell out between $1.1 billion and $1.4 billion (Rs 7,700 crores) with relation to alleged losses and damages incurred during sudden and unintended acceleration of vehicles between 2009 and 2010. Details of this settlement will include installation of brake override system on all 3.25 million vehicles which were recalled due to floor mat entrapment.

$250 million will be to compensate for loss of value by former Toyota owners who sold their vehicles during the September 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010 period. It will also include $250 million to compensate current owners whose vehicles are not eligible for free brake override system. 16 million current Toyota owners will also receive a customer car plan and warranty for certain parts for between 3 to 10 years while $30 million will be towards various education grants for study of auto safety and driver education.

A notable fact is that investigations by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA engineers have ruled that electronics were not at fault in reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles which was only caused by faulty floor mats and driver’s error. For more information, scroll down.

Auto News Release

Toyota Announces Settlement of Economic Loss Litigation That Provides Value to Customers

NEW YORK, Dec 26, 2012 –Toyota Motor North America today announced an agreement to resolve economic loss litigation in the U.S. related to previous recalls by committing to actions that deliver value to its customers.

“This agreement marks a significant step forward for our company, one that will enable us to put more of our energy, time and resources into Toyota’s central focus: making the best vehicles we can for our customers and doing everything we can to meet their needs,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, group vice president and general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, and chief legal officer, Toyota Motor North America. “In keeping with our core principles, we have structured this agreement in ways that work to put our customers first and demonstrate that they can count on Toyota to stand behind our vehicles.”

Reynolds continued: “This was a difficult decision – especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations have confirmed the safety of Toyota’s electronic throttle control systems. However, we concluded that turning the page on this legacy legal issue through the positive steps we are taking is in the best interests of the company, our employees, our dealers and, most of all, our customers.”

If this economic loss settlement is approved by the judge supervising multidistrict litigation (MDL) pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Toyota will launch a new customer-support program that will provide prospective supplemental coverage for certain vehicle components and will retrofit additional non-hybrid vehicle models subject to the floor mat recall with a free brake override system (BOS) to provide an added measure of confidence.

Further, assuming any appeals are resolved in favor of the settlement, Toyota will offer cash payments to eligible customers who sold or turned-in their leased vehicles in a period during 2009-2010, as well as other specified persons, and to eligible current owners and lessees who will not be offered BOS. The proposed settlement would also establish additional driver education programs and fund new research into advanced safety technologies.

Toyota also announced that it will take a one-time, $1.1 billion pre-tax charge against earnings to cover the estimated costs of the economic loss settlement and possible resolution costs of civil litigation brought in California by the District Attorney of Orange County and an investigation by a multi-state group of Attorneys General stemming from previous recalls.

For more information on the economic loss settlement, consumers are asked to visit www.toyotaelsettlement.com or call 877-283-0507.