A U.S. District Judge granted preliminary approval to a settlement valued at more than $1 billion between Toyota (NYSE:TM) and an estimated 19 million current and former Toyota owners who claim their vehicles contain defects causing sudden, unintended acceleration.
The case was filed in 2010 after drivers across the country reported that Toyota vehicles suddenly and unintentionally accelerated out of their control. Toyota has long maintained that the vehicles were free from electronic flaws causing the acceleration.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Toyota will install a brake-override system in vehicles subject to floor mat entrapment recalls, provide a fund of $250 million for former Toyota owners who sold their cars between Sept. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, provide an additional $250 million for current Toyota owners whose vehicles are not eligible for a brake-override system, and provide a customer care plan for all 16 million current owners that will warranty certain parts allegedly tied to unintended acceleration.
Toyota owners included in the settlement will receive information about the settlement through notices expected to be mailed in early March. At the same time, information about the settlement will be published in newspapers around the country, along with a toll-free number for more information.
Consumers who wish to take part in the settlement must submit a claim form by July 29, 2013. Additional details of the settlement are available at www.ToyotaELsettlement.com and www.hbsslaw.com/toyota . Consumers can also call 1-877 283-0507 for more information