The class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of current and former owners and lessees of model year 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corolla and Matrix automobiles purchased or leased in the United States (the “Class Vehicles” or “Vehicle(s)”).
As alleged in the complaint, beginning in at least 2008, Defendants designed, manufactured, distributed, sold, leased, serviced and warranted the Vehicles that are the subject of this action. The Vehicles all contain a design defect and/or flaw with the Electric Power Steering (“EPS”) system, which causes the Vehicles to wander or drift from center at highway speeds and/or suddenly veer to one direction during normal use (“Defect”).
Since 2008, Toyota has sold hundreds of thousands of Vehicles equipped with the defective EPS system and knew or should have known that the Class Vehicles are defective, not fit for their intended purpose and unsafe when they are driven within their normal and/or expected range of operation. Nevertheless, Toyota has actively concealed and failed to disclose the Defect to Plaintiffs and the Class members, both prior to and after the time of purchase.
Since at least July 2008, Toyota, through correspondence with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), its own internal research, receipt of consumer complaints, communications with its dealers and other sources, has known about the Defect, but has failed to disclose the existence of the Defect to consumers or to provide, disclose, or make available remedies which can reduce or eliminate this extremely unsafe and economically burdensome condition.
The complaint states that on February 17, 2010, Toyota issued a statement which expressly recognized that it was aware of the numerous consumer complaints about the issue but has not recalled the vehicles
Although Toyota has denied the existence of the Defect despite knowledge of hundreds of consumer complaints, it has acknowledged a problem with the EPS system and, on June 3, 2010, issued Technical Service Bulletin TSB- 0140-10 (the “TSB”), setting forth an entirely voluntary procedure, which may be requested by consumers, to repair the EPS system. The voluntary procedure must be paid for by the consumer unless the Vehicle’s 36 month/36,000 mile warranty remains in effect. Toyota has not issued a recall with respect to the Defect or the EPS system.
Despite issuance of the TSB, Toyota has not made the repair procedure known to all affected customers or even to the dealers who would be responsible for performing the repairs. When taking their Vehicles to Toyota dealers and expressing complaints of the Defect, consumers continue to be told that there is nothing wrong with their Vehicles and that there is nothing that can be done to remedy their complaints.
Had Plaintiffs and other Class members known about the Defect at the time of purchase or lease, they would not have bought or leased the Class Vehicles, or would have paid less for them.