Please find below answers to frequently asked questions:
The plaintiffs allege that certain vehicles manufactured by the Defendants (Toyota
Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. together (“Toyota”)) equipped
with electronic throttle control systems (“ETCS”) are defective and can experience
acceleration that is unintended by the driver. As a result, the lawsuit pursues
claims for breach of warranties, unjust enrichment, and violations of various state
consumer protection statutes, among other claims.
Toyota denies that it has violated any law, denies that it engaged in any wrongdoing, and denies that there is any defect in its ETCS. The parties agreed to resolve these matters before these issues were decided by the Court.
In a class action, people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other
people who have similar claims. All of these people together are the “Class” or
“Class Members” if the Court approves this procedure. Then, that Court resolves
the issues for all Class Members, except for those who timely and properly exclude
themselves from the Class.
Both sides in the lawsuit agreed to a settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further
litigation, including a potential trial, and so that the Class Members can get benefits,
in exchange for releasing Toyota from liability. The settlement does not mean that
Toyota broke any laws and/or did anything wrong, and the Court did not decide which
side was right. The settlement here has been finally approved by the Court and all
appeals have been resolved in favor of the settlement. The Class Representatives
and the lawyers representing them (called “Class Counsel”) believe that the settlement
is in the best interests of all Class Members and the Court has agreed in its final
orders approving the settlement.
The model years for the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles (called the “Subject Vehicles”)
included in the settlement range from 1998 through 2010, and were equipped or installed
with an electronic throttle control system distributed for sale or lease in the
United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all other United States
territories and/or possessions are included:
|Camry Solara (2AZ)||2002-2008|
|Camry Solara (except 2AZ)||2004-2008|
|Corolla (except 2ZZ)||2005-2010|
|Corolla Matrix (except 1ZZ 4WD, 2ZZ)||2005-2010|
|Spyder (MR2) SMT||2001-2005|
|Tacoma (5VZ w/ETCS-i)||2003-2004|
|Tundra (except 5VZ)||2000-2010|
|Yaris Hatchback (Puerto Rico only)||2006|
|RX HV||2006-2008, 2010|
You are part of the settlement if you are a person, entity or organization who,
at any time before December 28, 2012, own or owned, purchase(d), lease(d) and/or
insure(d) the residual value as a Residual Value Insurer of a Subject Vehicle equipped
or installed with an ETCS distributed for sale or lease in any of the fifty States,
the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all other United States territories and/or
possessions. This is called the "Class."
Please note that, if you are a Class Member, you do not need to currently own, lease or insure, as a Residual Value Insurer, the residual value of a Subject Vehicle to be part of the settlement.
The following are excluded from the Class: (a) Toyota, their officers, directors and employees; their affiliates and affiliates’ officers, directors and employees; their distributors and distributors’ officers, directors and employees; and Toyota Dealers and Toyota Dealers’ officers and directors; (b) Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel, Allocation Counsel and their employees; (c) judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case; and (d) persons or entities who or which timely and properly exclude themselves from the Class.
Since the Court has given final approval to the settlement and all appeals have been resolved in favor of the settlement, if you are a class member and have not otherwise timely and properly excluded yourself from the settlement, you will not release claims for personal injury, wrongful death or actual physical property damage arising from an accident involving a Subject Vehicle as part of this settlement. Please review the actual language contained in the Settlement Agreement at Section VI, which is available by clicking on Case Documents above. If you have any questions, you can talk to one of the lawyers listed in Question 11 or talk to your own lawyer at your own expense.Top
The benefits available to Class Members are as follows:
A. Money payment to certain former owners or lessors and residual value insurers.
Toyota is paying $250 million into a fund for distribution to eligible Class Members who: (a) sold or traded in a Subject Vehicle during the period September 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, inclusive; (b) returned a Subject Vehicle before the lease termination date during the period September 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, inclusive; or (c) insured and/or guaranteed the residual value of a Subject Vehicle as of September 1, 2009, and with respect to such Subject Vehicle, thereafter either made payment to an insured, or sold the Subject Vehicle, provided such payment or sale was made by a Residual Value Insurer on or before December 31, 2010; or (d) returned a leased Subject Vehicle before the lease termination date after having reported an alleged unintended acceleration event(s) to Toyota, an authorized Toyota Dealer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), before December 1, 2012; or (e) had a Subject Vehicle that was declared a total loss by an insurer during the period from September 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, inclusive.
Payments in this category will depend on the make, model, and model year of the Subject Vehicle, when the Subject Vehicle was sold or returned, the state in which the Class Member resides, the number of claims submitted, and other adjustments and deductions.
Payments will be reduced on a pro rata basis except for those Class Members who completed and submitted a proper Claim Form by July 29, 2013.
Important: In order to receive money from this fund, eligible Class Members must have completed and submitted the proper Claim Form by July 29, 2013, except for a small group as ordered by the Court.
If you are an eligible Class Member, you had the ability to complete and submit a Claim Form electronically on the settlement website before the deadline.
Since the Court has finally approved the settlement, Class Members who currently own or lease certain Subject Vehicles specified below may have a brake override system installed on their vehicle at no cost to them. The brake override system will automatically reduce engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions. As of August 7, 2013, Toyota is now offering this benefit over time. Please check the website regularly to find out when BOS will be available for the applicable Subject Vehicles.
If you are eligible for this benefit, to take advantage of it, you will need only take your vehicle to a Toyota/Lexus/Scion authorized dealer. This benefit is available for two years from the date Toyota gives notice on the settlement website that the brake override system is available for a particular eligible Subject Vehicle. Please see deadline dates below. You must still own or lease and possess your vehicle at the time you seek the brake override system. However, this benefit will be automatically transferred with the eligible Subject Vehicle. Inoperable vehicles and vehicles with a salvaged, rebuilt or flood-damaged title are not eligible to receive a brake override system.
The following non-hybrid models equipped with ETCS are eligible for a brake override system as part of this settlement:
Toyota Models Model Years Deadline 4Runner 2003-2009 3/16/16 Corolla 2009-2010 8/7/15 Corolla Matrix 2009-2010 8/7/15 Highlander 2008-2010 12/11/15 Land Cruiser 2008-2010 8/7/15 RAV4 2006-2010 12/11/15 Tundra 2007-2010 3/16/16
Lexus Models Model Years Deadline LX 2008-2010 8/7/15 RX 2010 8/7/15
In addition, Toyota previously offered to install a brake override system on the following non-hybrid models equipped with ETCS; these models remain eligible to receive this brake override system without any deadline if you did not previously have it installed.
Toyota Models Model Years Avalon 2005-2010 Camry 2007-2010 Sequoia 2008-2010 Tacoma 2005-2010 Venza 2009-2010
Lexus Models Model Years ES 2007-2010 IS 2006-2010 IS-F 2008-2010
In addition, hybrid Subject Vehicles already have something called Parts Protection Logic that, among other things, performs a similar function as a brake override system.
If the settlement is finally approved (including any appeals resolved in favor of the settlement), Toyota will pay $250 million into a fund for distribution to eligible Class Members who still own or lease their Subject Vehicles, unless (a) their Subject Vehicle is a hybrid vehicle; (b) they already actually received a brake override system installation on their Subject Vehicle; or (c) they are eligible for the brake override system on their Subject Vehicles as described in the Settlement Agreement (available on the settlement website). This fund will be distributed according to the plan of allocation, which is also available on the settlement website. Eligible Class Members’ payments may range from $37 to $125, depending on the state in which the Class Member resides, the number of claims submitted, and other adjustments and deductions. It is possible that payments will be lower, however, or may be higher, depending upon the number of Claims submitted and other factors, but in no event will exceed $125.
Payments will be reduced on a pro rata basis except for those Class Members who completed and submitted a proper Claim Form by July 29, 2013.
Important: In order to receive money from this fund, eligible Class Members must have completed and submitted the proper Claim Form by July 29, 2013.
If you are an eligible Class Member, you had the ability to complete and submit a Claim electronically on the settlement website before the deadline.
Since the Court has finally approved the settlement, for Class Members who still possess their Subject Vehicles, Toyota is implementing a Customer Support Program that will stand by the reliability of the vehicles by providing provide prospective coverage for repairs and adjustments needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship in certain parts associated with the vehicle’s operation at no cost to the owner or lessee if any of those parts fail, break, or malfunction. The Customer Support Program will last for ten (10) years after the expiration of any existing warranty for each of the covered parts, subject to a maximum limit of 150,000 miles, except that each eligible vehicle will receive no less than three (3) years of coverage from the date of final settlement approval (regardless of when the underlying warranty expires and your vehicle’s mileage), if the Court finally approves the settlement. The covered parts are the: (i) engine control module; (ii) cruise control switch; (iii) accelerator pedal assembly; (iv) stop lamp switch; and (v) throttle body assembly. The Customer Support Program is transferable with the Subject Vehicle. Inoperable vehicles and vehicles with a salvaged, rebuilt or flood-damaged title are not eligible for the Customer Support Program.
If you are a Class Member who is eligible for the Customer Support Program, you need not take any action in order to be eligible to participate in the Customer Support Program. If a covered part fails, breaks, or malfunctions due to a defect in materials or workmanship from the date of final approval through the end of the Customer Service Program, you should take your vehicle to a Toyota/Lexus/Scion authorized dealer for repair or adjustment under the Customer Support Program.
If the settlement is finally approved (including any appeals resolved in favor of the settlement), Toyota will pay $30,000,000 to fund automobile safety research and education related to issues in the lawsuit. Toyota’s payment will be divided between contributions to university-based automobile/transportation research and an education/information program for automobile drivers. Contributions to the university programs will be for the purposes of researching issues to develop advances in active safety features, vehicle control and driver attention. The education/information program will consist of an education campaign focused on driver safety. If amounts remain from the other cash portions of the settlement, any future money contributed to research and education programs will be divided for the same purposes as outlined above.
The money payments to eligible former owners or lessors and residual value insurers
are intended to address what Plaintiffs allege was a period of diminished value
of the Subject Vehicles, due to reports and media coverage of alleged unintended
acceleration events. Plaintiffs’ expert witness in the lawsuit identified the period
September 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 as a period in which the Subject Vehicles
may have suffered a loss in value due to publicity associated with certain of the
Please be advised that all appeals to the Settlement have been resolved in favor of the settlement and that the Settlement is now final. On March 14, 2014, the claims administrator commenced mailing Distribution Payments to eligible class members that filed timely claims. On July 7, 2014, the claims administrator mailed Distribution Payments to eligible claimants who timely resolved deficiencies in their claim(s). On September 29, 2014 and pursuant to Court Order, the claims administrator commenced mailing Distribution Payments to the eligible non-claimants in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Court orders. Other settlement benefits continue to be available under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. For benefits that are to be provided or are currently being provided, please refer to question 7 (What does the settlement provide?)Top
Class Members who did not exclude themselves from the Class will release Toyota
from liability and will not be able to sue Toyota about the issues in the lawsuit.
The Settlement Agreement at section VI describes the released claims in necessary
legal terminology, so read it carefully. A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available
by clicking on Case Documents above.
You can talk to one of the lawyers listed below for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer at your own expense if you have questions about the released claims or what they mean.
Yes. The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and other Class Members. These
lawyers are called “Class Counsel”: Steve W. Berman at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
LLP; Marc M. Seltzer at Susman Godfrey LLP; and Frank M. Pitre at Cotchett, Pitre
& McCarthy. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented
by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.
The Court has awarded Class Counsel attorneys’ fees of $200 million, plus an additional $27 million in costs and expenses. These fees and expenses will go to the multiple plaintiffs’ firms and approximately 85 attorneys who worked on the litigation. The Court also awarded payments to each of the 25 Plaintiffs and Class Representatives totaling $395,270 for their time invested in connection with the Actions.
These payments will not reduce the value of the settlement benefits made available to Class Members. Toyota will also separately pay these attorneys’ fees and expenses and also will pay the costs to provide notice of and to administer the settlement, subject to potential reimbursement of these costs pursuant to the terms of the settlementTop
Please be advised that on July 24, 2013, the Court granted final approval to the
settlement, and as of December 10, 2013 all appeals to the Settlement have been
resolved. The Final Orders and Final Judgment can be found on the Case Documents
Please be advised that the settlement has been considered final as of December 10,
2013. Please do not contact Toyota, Lexus, and/or Scion dealers or Toyota as the
Court has ordered that all such questions be directed to the Class Action Settlement
On September 29, 2014 and pursuant to Court Order, the claims administrator commenced
mailing Distribution Payments to the eligible non-claimants in accordance with the
terms of the Settlement Agreement and Court orders. Distribution of payments to
eligible non-claimants will continue through the first week of December. Please
allow sufficient time for delivery. Checks were previously mailed to eligible claimants
who timely filed claims or resolved deficiencies in their claims.
On September 29, 2014 and pursuant to Court Order, the claims administrator commenced mailing Distribution Payments to the eligible non-claimants in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Court orders. All mailings will occur on a rolling basis over an approximate 2-month period; accordingly, please allow sufficient time for delivery.
Payments were reduced on a pro rata basis to non-claimants from the Cash In Lieu of BOS Fund based on the make, model, year of the Subject Vehicle, status of ownership, and whether the Class Member resides in a Manifestation, Non-Manifestation or Unclear state, the number of non-claimants as outlined in the Plan of Allocation within the Settlement Agreement and as approved by the Court. The allocation shall be as follows:
|If an eligible class member purchased, leased, now resides or insured the residual value of a vehicle in a Non-Manifestation State:||100 percent of the Cash In Lieu of BOS fund maximum payment|
|If an eligible class member purchased, leased, now resides or insured the residual value of a vehicle registered in a Manifestation State:||30 percent of the Cash In Lieu of BOS fund maximum payment|
|If an eligible class member purchased, leased, now resides or insured the residual value of a vehicle registered in an Unclear State:||70 percent of the Cash In Lieu of BOS fund maximum payment|
a. Non-Manifestation States: The anticipated payment for qualifying vehicles in Non-Manifestation states is $ 29.86. The following statement defines the Non-Manifestation states: You purchased, leased, registered, or insured the residual value of the Subject Vehicle, or now reside in one of the following states:
|Nebraska||Nevada||New Jersey||New Mexico||New York*||Ohio|
|Oklahoma||Oregon||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Dakota||Tennessee|
b. Manifestation States: The anticipated payment for qualifying vehicles in Manifestation states is $ 8.97. The following statement defines the Manifestation states: You purchased, leased, registered, or insured the residual value of the Subject Vehicle, or now reside in one of the following states:
|Arkansas||Dist. of Columbia||Indiana||Mississippi||New Hampshire|
|North Carolina||North Dakota||South Carolina||Utah||Wisconsin|
c. Unclear States: The anticipated payment for qualifying vehicles in Unclear states is $ 20.91. The following statement defines the Unclear states: You purchased, leased, registered, or insured the residual value of the Subject Vehicle, or now reside in one of the following states: