Toyota Reaches $29 Million Settlement with
February 15, 2013
by Casey Neeley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement to the tune of $29
million with 29 attorneys general in 29 U.S. states and one U.S.
The deal was disclosed yesterday and reportedly approved in December.
The money will be divided among the 29 states and American Samoa.
In a statement, Christopher P. Reynolds, group vice president and
general counsel for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, and chief legal officer
for Toyota Motor North America, says, "Resolving this inquiry
is another step we are taking to turn the page on legacy issues
from Toyota's past recalls in a way that benefits our customers.
Immediately after this inquiry was launched in 2010, Toyota began
cooperating fully with the attorneys general and implementing 'customer-first'
initiatives to address their concerns and those of our customers.
Today, we are pleased to have reached a cooperative agreement that
reflects the commitment of Toyota's 37,000 North American team members
to put customers first in everything we do."
Toyota most recently came under fire in December after announcing
a $1.1 billion settlement resulting from consumer lawsuits over
inadvertent acceleration and continues to face scrutiny over safety.
In October the company recalled more than 7.5 million vehicles for
power window switches that can potentially catch fire. Additionally,
in 2008 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
investigated Toyota for reports of spontaneously
shattering side lites.The company also issued a recall
of more than 1 billion vehicles at the end of January for faulty
windshield wipers and airbag defects.
As part of the agreement, Toyota plans to work toward making "vehicle
information more easily accessible to consumers to help them operate
their vehicles safely and make more informed choices."
The company also says it has "agreed to continue other customer-focused
initiatives, including its rapid-response service teams, its expanded
network of product quality field offices across the US and a range
of customer care amenities for owners of vehicles subject to certain
According to court documents, Toyota, as part of the settlement
deal agrees to pay at its own expense, "for a period of one
year after entry of this Agreed/Stipulated Final Judgment, to consider
in good faith customer requests for reimbursement, as appropriate
on a case-by-case basis (and to the extent a consumer has not already
been reimbursed) for those consumers who have filed complaints,
or who may file complaints or requests for reimbursements with Toyota
or with any attorney general's office of any signatory state, or
any signatory state or federal regulator, in which the consumer
reasonably substantiates and documents reasonable taxi fares, towing
costs, rental car costs or other similar expenses."
A release issued by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the
"settlement resolves a multistate investigation into Toyota's
actions in the wake of the discovery that certain vehicle models
were susceptible to sudden, spontaneous accelerations. Specifically,
the states investigated whether Toyota adequately and promptly disclosed
that its voluntary recalls had safety implications for vehicle owners
of its most popular models, including the Camry and Lexus sedans,
the Tundra and Tacoma trucks and the Prius hybrid."
This settlement focuses on safety recalls issued by Toyota between
2005 and 2010.
Despite facing multiple recalls, the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety (IIHS) has ranked 12 separate Toyota models in its 2013
Top Safety Pick list. The safety picks may mean little for some
consumers; a Los
Angeles Times poll shows, at press time, 44 percent of readers
say they would not buy a Toyota today.
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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