Yesterday, we discussed early reports of the landmark proposed settlement of a class action brought against Toyota stemming from the widely-reported 2010 alleged defect that caused vehicles to unexpectedly accelerate.
The problem with the early reports, however, is that some of them painted the story with too broad of strokes, and now, as subsequent articles suggest, many Toyota owners aren’t quite sure what this settlement means for them.
As we’ve previously discussed, there were a number of lawsuits that arose from the 2010 controversy — and, as we’ve mentioned in the past, representing the victims injured in crashes caused by those defects hits very close to home, as we were one of the first firms filing suit for such injuries here in Illinois.
However, the settlement announced yesterday concerns the class action litigation that came about to compensate for property damage and to take care of Toyota owners that saw the value of their cars decrease simply by virtue of the recall itself. Essentially, as the article states, this settlement will serve as something of a “pool” of money that will be offered to those who owned the defective vehicles — but it is simply far too soon to estimate how much money everyone will receive, particularly since the settlement itself has not been finalized, and the total size of the affected “class” not yet determined either.
This second point is crucial, and anyone who thinks they might be covered under this lawsuit should not sit back and wait, as the article points out that they will have to “opt in” to the class (basically, you have to send notice of your intent to be a part of this action).
This isn’t to take a negative view on this settlement — to the contrary, as mentioned yesterday, a lot of good will come from this — but in the immediate aftermath, as is often the case, the details of what this is and what it means can get lost very quickly.
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