Toyota to Pay $29 Million Settlement in Unintended Acceleration Claims
Toyota will pay $29 million in settlements to 29 states and one U.S. territory resulting from claims that the automaker concealed information about its unintended acceleration recalls in 2009 and 2010. New Jersey led the investigation, which began in 2010. The automaker will pay $5 million or more to reimburse owners for towing, taxi and rental-car costs as long as claims are filed with state or federal agencies within one year. The settlement also prohibits Toyota from advertising the safety of its vehicles without "sound engineering and scientific data to back such claims," the Detroit News reports.
"Toyota has committed to take steps to make vehicle information more easily accessible to consumers to help them operate their vehicles safely and make more informed choices," the automaker said Thursday in a statement. "Toyota also agreed to continue other customer-focused initiatives, including its rapid-response service teams, its expanded network of product quality field offices across the U.S. and a range of customer-care amenities for owners of vehicles subject to certain recalls."
The settlement marks the latest in a string of penalties for the world's largest automaker, whose unintended acceleration recalls involved around 12 million cars in 2009 and 2010.
In 2012, Toyota led all U.S. automakers with 5.33 million recalls, but the vast majority were unrelated to unintended acceleration.