As multiple news outlets are reporting, Toyota has agreed, in principal, to settle a class action lawsuit in California stemming from the highly-publicized dispute that arose in early 2010 after a number of complaints were logged that the auto giant’s vehicles were accelerating unintendedly.
It should be noted that there have been several different “groups” of litigation that have arisen from this dispute and, as the articles suggest, this particular settlement (estimated to be valued somewhere between $1.1 and $1.4 billion dollars) is intended to set aside funds for car owners whose property was damaged as a result of the alleged defect, as well as separate funds set aside for Toyota owners that were forced to sell their used vehicles at a reduced rate on account of negative publicity.
Perhaps the most important part of this settlement, in the long run, is a provision described in a press release as “the installation of a brake override system in about 3.25 million vehicles,” which hopefully will go a long way toward preventing incidents and tragedies from happening in the future.
As you may know, we have been actively involved in various facets of the Toyota litigation from the beginning, and many of the fights will live on beyond this “property damage” settlement, but be this as it may, this is an important settlement for a number of reasons.
The reports as to the settlement figures are certainly significant and important — the press release cited in the article even refers to it as “landmark” — but the real win, if early reports are correct, comes in the proposed installation of the brake override system in the estimated 3.25 million vehicles, because it represents a balance between compensation for the harm done and forward progress into preventing the harm from reoccurring.
If these early reports are accurate, this “balance” can serve as a model of what our legal system looks like when it gets things right.
You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have anyquestions and to learn how we may be able to help you in the unfortunate event of an accident that caused you or your family or friends injuries – in particular, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.