Toyota Motor North America announced an agreement to install new brake override systems in certain vehicles and reimburse those who may have suffered economic loss due to the braking issue. It is believed this could affect nearly 16 million vehicles covered by the settlement. In addition, 3- to 10-year warranties for parts related to unintended acceleration will be included, according to a statement made by plaintiffs’ lawyers.
“This agreement marks a significant step forward for our company, one that will enable us to put more of our energy, time and resources into Toyota’s central focus: making the best vehicles we can for our customers and doing everything we can to meet their needs,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, group vice president and general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, and chief legal officer, Toyota Motor North America. “In keeping with our core principles, we have structured this agreement in ways that work to put our customers first and demonstrate that they can count on Toyota to stand behind our vehicles.”
Reynolds continued: “This was a difficult decision – especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations have confirmed the safety of Toyota’s electronic throttle control systems. However, we concluded that turning the page on this legacy legal issue through the positive steps we are taking is in the best interests of the company, our employees, our dealers and, most of all, our customers.”
Toyota also stated they would make cash settlement payments to owners who have since sold or no longer own their Toyota vehicles covered under this settlement.
It seems to us this a way of throwing a great deal of money at the situation to appease these owners and former owners who are affected. In the corporate world it probably makes sense in that a huge group of attorneys and a lot of court cases means much more money will be spent without benefiting the consumer, the ones who deserve the monetary benefit.
While there appears to have been a number of speculative answers to the problem, not one has satisfied everyone. At least there will be some relief for many Toyota owners. In Mr. Reynolds’ words, “turning the page on this legacy legal issue…” What ever the heck that means.
For more information on the economic loss settlement, consumers can visit www.toyotaelsettlement.com or call 877-283-0507.