Toyota to pay $29 million to settle attorneys general allegations over cars that suddenly accelerate
Jenn Strathman, newsnet5.com
12:49 PM, Feb 14, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Toyota Motor Corporation and its North American entities entered into a $29 million settlement over unintended acceleration with 29 states including Ohio. Ohio will receive over $1.7 million of the settlement.
"When it comes to our vehicles, safety is the most important factor," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. "This settlement will help better protect those on Ohio's roads by ensuring greater communication within Toyota and more timely notification of the public if safety issues arise with its products."
The states alleged Toyota concealed safety issues related to the unintended acceleration. The settlement money will be used to settle consumer protection claims and provide vehicle owners with extra restitution and incentives to promote compliance with the acceleration recall.
The attorneys general determined the safety issue partially became a problem because of poor communication between Toyota in Japan and Toyota's US holdings. As a result of the settlement, Toyota will significantly change the safety culture within the company's US operations. The manufacturers said these steps will make vehicle information more accessible to consumers to help them operate their vehicles safely while making informed choices.
Toyota group vice president and general counsel said, "Resolving this inquiry is another step we are taking to turn the page on legacy issues from Toyota's past recalls in a way that benefits our customers. Immediately after this inquiry was launched in 2010, Toyota began cooperating fully with the Attorneys General and implementing ‘customer-first' initiatives to address their concerns and those of our customers. Today, we are pleased to have reached a cooperative agreement that reflects the commitment of Toyota's 37,000 North American team members to put customers first in everything we do."
The following states and territory participated: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.