FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2013
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
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AG ANNOUNCES $29 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH
TOYOTA OVER UNINTENDED ACCELERATION
(MONTGOMERY)–Attorney General Luther Strange today joined 29 other
states in announcing a $29 million settlement with Toyota Motor Corporation and its
related North America entities over allegations that Toyota concealed safety issues
related to unintended acceleration.
Toyota agreed to pay $29 million to settle consumer protection claims and has
agreed to provide additional restitution and incentives to vehicle owners to promote
compliance with unintended acceleration safety recalls. As a result of the settlement,
Alabama will receive $641,995 for consumer purposes. Toyota will be restricted from
advertising the safety of vehicles without sound engineering data to back such safety
“I am pleased that this settlement will protect consumers by requiring honest
and effective disclosures of safety issues,” said Attorney General Strange.
In a complaint filed today along with the settlement agreement, the states alleged
Toyota engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it failed to timely disclose
known safety defects with accelerator pedals. The investigating State Attorneys General
determined that poor communication between Toyota’s headquarters in Japan and
Toyota’s United States holdings were partially responsible for Toyota’s failure to timely
report known safety issues.
During settlement negotiations, emphasis was placed on ensuring changes in the
corporate culture and corporate chain of command to enhance Toyota’s responsiveness
to regulatory agencies in the United States. As a result, Toyota has agreed to
significantly change the safety culture within the company’s United States operations.
Toyota will ensure that officials and officers of its United States operations have timely
access to information and the authority to fully participate in all decisions affecting
the safe operation of Toyota vehicles advertised and sold in the United States.
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2
The requested culture and chain of command changes will also improve safety
issue related to communication between Toyota’s holdings in the United States and
Toyota’s other global holdings. The State Attorneys General believe the agreed changes
in Toyota’s corporate communications and safety decision-making chains of command
will allow the company to move forward in a positive manner with improved
responsiveness to safety concerns.
In addition, the settlement provides that Toyota is:
Prohibited from reselling a vehicle it reacquired with alleged safety defects
without informing the purchaser about the alleged defect(s) and certifying that
the reacquired vehicle has been fixed,
Prohibited from misrepresenting the purpose of an inspection or repair when
directing consumers to bring their vehicles to a dealer for inspection or repair,
Required to exclude from the “Toyota Certified Used Vehicles” or “Lexus
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles” categories any vehicle acquired through lemon
law proceedings or voluntarily repurchased by Toyota to ensure customer
The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office led the national multi-state
investigation along with the Attorneys General from Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana,
Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington. The following states and US
territory participated in today’s settlement: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona,
Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland,
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North
Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.