Why everyone loses but the lawyers in Toyota’s unintended acceleration settlement

Why everyone loses but the lawyers in Toyota’s unintended acceleration settlement

January 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials The Toyota settlement recently submitted to US District Judge James Selna for approval will cost the company anywhere from $1 billion to $1.4 billion. All to settle the class-action suit brought against it for economic losses stemming from claims of unintended acceleration . This suit only addresses the perceived loss-of-value that Toyota owners and lessees feel they have suffered, alleging their cars were the victims of unintended depreciation even if they did not directly suffer from the alleged cases of unintended/sudden acceleration. This is a separate case than the wrongful death suits brought about by the unintended acceleration brouhaha. When the settlement was announced, this was the overview of its payouts: Toyota will install brake override systems in all 3.25 million vehicles subjected to the floor mat entrapment recall . Another fund of $250 million will compensate current owners whose vehicles are not eligible for the free brake override system. A fund of $250 million will compensate former Toyota owners who sold their cars from September 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 for lost value. Education grants valued at $30 million will be made to independent academic institutions to further study auto safety and enhance driver education. All 16 million current Toyota owners will be eligible for a customer care plan that warrants certain parts allegedly related to unintended acceleration for three to 10 years. Car and Driver attempts to break down where all that largesse is going, and who’s going to get large off of it.

Toyota proposes economic loss settlement worth up to $1.4 billion over unintended acceleration claims

Toyota proposes economic loss settlement worth up to $1.4 billion over unintended acceleration claims

December 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota announced a proposal today worth over a billion dollars to settle civil claims of economic loss related to alleged cases of sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles from 2009-2010. Estimates place the cost of the settlement between $1.1 billion and $1.4 billion, which would, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs, make it the largest of its type in US history. US District Judge James Selna, who is presiding over the case in California, will review Toyota’s settlement proposal as early as Friday. The details of the settlement, as given by Toyota in an official statement and obtained from a press release issued by lawyers for the plaintiffs, are as follows. Toyota will install brake override systems in all 3.25 million vehicles subjected to the floor mat entrapment recall . A fund of $250 million will compensate former Toyota owners who sold their cars from September 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 for lost value. Another fund of $250 million will compensate current owners whose vehicles are not eligible for the free brake override system. All 16 million current Toyota owners will be eligible for a customer care plan that warrants certain parts allegedly related to unintended acceleration for three to 10 years. Education grants valued at $30 million will be made to independent academic institutions to further study auto safety and enhance driver education. As mentioned above, the settlement relates only to claims of economic loss, and thus does not cover wrongful death claims, the first trail for which is slated to begin in February 2013.

Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case

Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case

June 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Etc. , Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota Judge James V. Selna has warned jurors in a wrongful death suit about suspicions surrounding Toyota . According to Inside Line, the warning comes tied to the automaker’s conduct during an investigation of a 2008 Camry involved in a fatal crash allegedly caused by unintended acceleration . The single-car accident in Utah claimed the lives of the driver, Pual van Alfen, as well as one other passenger. Two passengers were also injured in the event on November 5, 2010. According to the report, two weeks later, Toyota inspected the sedan without the owner’s presence or consent, including the onboard black box . Judge Selena cautioned jurors that they should treat the testimony of Toyota personnel who participated in the investigation with “greater caution than that of other witnesses.” Plaintiffs argued that without their own lawyers present during the inspection, data from the Event Data Recorder could have been changed or deleted entirely. The Judge said that while there was no evidence that Toyota did so, the fact that the automaker failed to notify the owner of the inspection casts a “cloud of suspicion” over the examination. Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Jun 2012 17:59:00 EST.

Ruling says Toyota can’t require arbitration for unintended acceleration plaintiffs

Ruling says Toyota can’t require arbitration for unintended acceleration plaintiffs

March 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota U.S. District Judge James Selna – who has presided over the unintended acceleration cases against Toyota since 2010 – says the automaker does not have the right to compel 20 named plaintiffs into arbitration. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for lawsuits covering economic losses from the alleged issue of unintended acceleration . Toyota had maintained that leasing and purchase agreements signed by the owners denies owners the right to class-action litigation. According to Bloomberg , although the ruling covers all 20, the are two kinds of plaintiffs in this instance. The judge decided that Toyota had lost its right to arbitration with fifteen of the plaintiffs only because Toyota waited so long to pursue it. Selna concluded that since the plaintiffs had come so far in the litigation process that “They would be prejudiced if their claims were required to be submitted to arbitration now.” Selna further denied Toyota’s right to arbitration with the remaining five because “the carmaker wasn’t a party to the arbitration agreements between the plaintiffs and the Toyota dealers.” The ruling finalizes the tentative decision Selna issued last month. Class-action status for the plaintiffs, however, has not yet been granted. Three trials are scheduled for next year, and they will be used to set precedents for evidence, liability and theories. It is expected that a final decision on class-action status will come after the conclusion of those three cases.

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