The Toyota Motor Corp. and U.S. subsidiaries have agreed to settle investigations by 29 attorneys general and will pay 29 million dollars to participating states. The settlement closes the claims with these states that the company misled consumers about the safety of its vehicles.
Toyota has been paying out significant reparations for many safety and communications issues associated with various defects. For example, the company already paid a large sum totaling $48.8 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its failure to let regulators know about defects that became the subject of recalls.
The company has also recently agreed to pay about $1.4 billion to end national class action claims that its vehicles suddenly and unintentionally accelerated, which devalued the owner’s vehicles. The company had been sued by hundreds of owners since about 2009, when the car maker began receiving complaints about the sudden acceleration issue. Some individual cases involving injury and death due to the defect may still be litigated. The company is said to be trying to settle some of the larger of these cases before they get to juries.
The state investigations resulted from the claims of sudden acceleration. The company had insisted that its vehicles were safe, despite recurring issues with the acceleration systems in several models. Toyota has agreed to correct communications issues between Japan and the United States with regard to safety problems. It must also advise buyers about defects in previously-owned vehicles and repairs made on those cars.
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