Toyota Settling Lawsuit Over Truck Rust for $3.4 Billion

Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to a $3.4 billion settlement for class action brought by owners in the U.S. of SUVs and pickup trucks whose frames could have rust through, said plaintiffs’ lawyers in court documents.

The settlement proposal covers close to 1.5 million compact Tacoma pickups, full-size Tundra pickups and Sequoia SUVS that were alleged to have been given inadequate protection against rust that could lead to serious enough corrosion to jeopardize the vehicle’s structural integrity, showed court papers.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs supporting the proposed settlement have estimated the overall value of replacement for the frame to reach $3.375 billion with an estimated cost of $15,000 for each vehicle and inspections at $90 million or $60 for each vehicle.

No wrongdoing or liability was admitted by Toyota in the proposal filed late last week in Los Angeles in front of a U.S. District Judge.

Toyota in a prepared statement said that it wanted its customers to have a great experience, as an owner of our vehicles so the company is pleased it was able to resolve the litigation in such as way that is beneficial to the customers and demonstrates how the company stands behind it quality and reliability of its many different vehicles.

Under the terms of the settlement, Toyota is to inspect each vehicle for 12 years from the day it was first sold to make a determination if the frames need replacement at the expense of the company as well as reimburse those vehicle owners who had previously paid out money to have the frame replaced.

The settlement was reached on October 31 and covers model years 2005 to 2010 for Tacoma pickups, models 2005 to 2008 Sequoias and 2007 as well as 2008 Tundra model years.

The Japan-based automaker also entered into an agreement to pay just over $9.75 million in fees to attorneys, $150,000 for expenses and costs and another $2,500 each to the eight named class representatives along with the cost of advertising this just reached settlement.

Carmakers from Mitsubishi to Volkswagen to Jeep have either entered into or are negotiating large settlements following lawsuits filed by owners or government regulators discovering software set up to beat the emissions testing that is required annually in the U.S.

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