Maryland Wrongful Death Lawyers: Toyota Announces $1 Billion Lawsuit SettlementFebruary 6, 2013
Toyota Motor North America recently announced settlement of federal multidistrict litigation related to sudden acceleration of several Toyota model cars. If approved, the settlement is one of the largest in United States automotive history providing cash payouts and installation of safety improvements on millions of affected cars.
In 2010, the formerly stellar reputation of Toyota was marred by claims of unintended acceleration leading to accidents and several deaths. A now controversial study by the U.S. government cleared Toyota of faulty engineering, but wrongful death, unfair business practices and other legal claims dogged efforts by Toyota to recapture its reputation and market share.
The December settlement in California federal district court is seen as a sweeping effort by Toyota to address consumer concerns and continue to rehabilitate the company image through measures including:
- A $250 million fund to reimburse Toyota owners affected by previous recalls
- Installation of a brake override system (BOS) on model cars susceptible to gas pedal malfunction
- Free repair services and customer support to applicable Toyota owners for up to 10 years
- Contribution of $30 million to automotive research concerning unintended acceleration
Toyota was also fined approximately $60 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for failure to notify U.S. regulators about its own research into unintended acceleration.
While individual personal injury and wrongful death matters remain pending, the multidistrict litigation represented the largest group of claims against the manufacturer. With this settlement, Toyota undoubtedly hopes to see the unintended acceleration issue fade in the rearview mirror. Contact the Maryland wrongful death lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. if you have a wrongful death claim.