Toyota Unintended Acceleration Settlement Approved, as Deadline Looms for Consumers


  • Toyota Logo Picture

    Toyota Logo Picture

    A settlement resolving economic-loss allegations brought by Toyota drivers was finalized on Friday. | July 22, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Consumers have until July 29 to file a claim following a federal judge's final ruling on Friday that resolved economic-loss allegations by Toyota drivers after the recall of vehicles for problems related to possible unintended acceleration.
  • "This agreement allows us to resolve a legacy legal issue in a way that provides significant value to our customers and demonstrates that they can depend on Toyota to stand behind our vehicles," wrote Celeste Migliore, a Toyota spokeswoman, in response to an Edmunds e-mailed query.
  • The settlement is valued at as much as $1.63 billion by plaintiff lawyers.

SANTA ANA, California — Consumers have until July 29 to file a claim following a federal judge's final ruling on Friday that resolved economic-loss allegations by Toyota drivers after the recall of vehicles for problems related to possible unintended acceleration.

Consumers can find out if they are entitled to a cash payment or have a brake override system installed in their Toyota vehicle at no charge at Toyota's economic loss Web site.

"This agreement allows us to resolve a legacy legal issue in a way that provides significant value to our customers and demonstrates that they can depend on Toyota to stand behind our vehicles," wrote Celeste Migliore, a Toyota spokeswoman, in response to an Edmunds e-mailed query.

U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna described the settlement, which is valued at as much as $1.63 billion by plaintiff lawyers, as "fair, adequate and reasonable."

"This is a great settlement for consumers," said Steve Berman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs and managing partner of Hagens Berman, in a statement. "It includes both safety fixes to make Toyota vehicles safer as well as monetary relief for owners who saw a reduction in their vehicle's value."

Berman said those who sold their Toyota vehicles at a loss can receive from $125 up to $10,000 depending on the level of depreciation, a "significant financial recovery."

The lawsuit alleged that the trade-in value of Toyota vehicles, including the Toyota Camry, plummeted after media reports and consumer complaints concerning an alleged defect that caused the vehicles to accelerate without warning.

The settlement does not resolve personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits related to claims of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

Edmunds says: The settlement is being seen as a win for consumers who say they suffered economic loss following the Toyota recalls and for the company, which now can move past this litigation.

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