Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toyota Settles For $29M Over Sticky Pedals

Toyota Can't Sell Defective Cars As 'Certified Used'
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today entered a settlement with Toyota Motor Corporation, resolving allegations that Toyota publicly represented that its vehicles were safe despite knowing about unintended acceleration caused by accelerator entrapment and “sticky” accelerator pedals. Regarding floor mat issues, it is believed that between 2009 and 2010, more than 375,000 vehicles in Florida were susceptible to these safety issues. The agreement, which twenty-nine other states joined, requires Toyota to make operational changes and full disclosures about its resold vehicles. Toyota must pay $29 million in total as part of the national settlement, including nearly $2 million to the Florida Attorney General’s Office to cover investigative costs, attorney fees, and future enforcement efforts.

“Misrepresenting a vehicle’s safety endangers the public and violates Florida’s consumer protection law,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I am pleased that Toyota cooperated with our office and has agreed to protect consumers by reforming its operations.”

Toyota is prohibited from reselling a vehicle it reacquired with alleged safety defects without informing the purchaser about the alleged defect(s) and certifying that the reacquired vehicle has been fixed. Additionally, Toyota must exclude from the “Toyota Certified Used Vehicles” or “Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles” categories any vehicle acquired through lemon law proceedings or voluntarily repurchased by Toyota to ensure customer satisfaction.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office led the investigation along with Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington. The following states participated in today’s settlement: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Consumers can call Toyota Motor Corporation at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987 for information regarding restitution.

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