More than $650,000 of Toyota Motor Company’s $29 million multi-state settlement will go to Colorado, according to an announcement by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, as Susan Graybeal reports for Yahoo! News. Colorado plans to use its share of the settlement — which stems from a lawsuit against Toyota because of unintended acceleration in some Toyota and Lexus models — to educate consumers and to fund consumer protection investigations, Graybeal writes. Colorado was one of 29 states participating in the settlement, following an investigation the New Jersey Attorney General’s office began in 2010.
David Shepardson writes for The Detroit News that Toyota will provide each of the states with a device to read event data recorded from Toyota vehicles, and that some provisions of the settlement will remain in effect for seven years. Toyota will reimburse Toyota owners for an estimated $5 million in costs related to recalls, such as rental cars, towing, and taxi fares, although the amount could be higher.
The corporation will consider claims filed by the state attorneys general or federal agencies for such reimbursements on a case by case basis within one year of the settlement, Shepardson writes. The settlement also prohibits Toyota from advertising vehicles’ safety unless there is sound engineering and scientific data to back up such claims, Shepardson writes, and adds: “It’s the latest fallout from the company’s massive recall of millions of vehicles for sudden acceleration.”
As part of an earlier settlement in December, Toyota agreed to buy back some recalled vehicles, and the general settlement prohibits the company from reselling a vehicle unless Toyota has repaired it and informed the buyer about the alleged defect and the repair, Shepardson writes. In late December, as this blog has reported, Toyota agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement, which Shepardson calls “the largest-ever civil settlement in automobile history.”
The settlement includes $250 million owners lost in resale value in the wake of the company’s recall of millions of vehicles for unintended acceleration. Toyota will also offer special vehicle coverage on 16.3 million vehicles.
A separate fund of $250 million from Toyota will compensate current owners whose vehicles are not eligible for a brake-override system. The amount consumers receive depends on the model and year of their Toyota, and the state in which the car was purchased.
In December, Toyota also said it would pay a record-setting $17.35 million fine for delaying the recall of 154,000 Lexus SUVs in the U.S. over pedal entrapment issues, and promised to make significant changes in the way it responds to auto safety issues, Shepardson writes.
Graybeal writes that according to Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the models and years of the affected cars include: 2005-2010 Avalon; 2007-2010 Camry; 2009-2010 Corolla; 2008-2010 Highlander; 2007-2010 Lexus ES350; 2006-2010 Lexus IS250; 2006-2010 Lexus IS350; 2010 Lexus RX 350; 2010 Lexus RX 450h; 2009-2010 Matrix; 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe; 2004-2009 Prius; 2009-2010 RAV4; 2008-2010 Sequoia; 2004 Sienna; 2005-2010 Tacoma; 2004-2010 Tundra; and 2009-2010 Venza.
The attorney general’s office encourages those who believe that they are entitled to refunds to contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 and Lexus at 1-800-255-3987, Graybeal writes.