Another Toyota Lawsuit, Owners Demand Full Refund
Toyota has been in the headlines about as much as Tiger Woods has in recent times, and although both situations have large doses of shock and disappointment to it, we’re finding it extremely hard for Toyota - with their escalating number of recalls that have put many lives in danger - to get off as easy as Woods has. No amount of public apology and a two-month stint in therapy can reverse the damage Toyota has taken from this crisis.
As a matter of fact, Toyota is currently getting sued by dozens of Toyota owners in the Washington and Arizona area for a full refund on the affected models. Attorney Steve Berman is on the case and is taking these lawsuits to a class action status.
"When we talked with Toyota owners, they all voiced the same desire — to drive the car back to the lot, hand them the keys and pick up a check," said Berman, who is based in Seattle. "Fortunately, we think the law allows for exactly that solution, and we are asking the courts to make it happen."
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If Berman is successful Toyota could be writing several checks totaling billions of dollars to cover the 6 million Toyotas that have been recalled due to unintentional acceleration. This lawsuit, however, is only one of the many lawsuits filed against Toyota lately. Most of the others are filing lawsuits due to a significant drop in the value of Toyotas since the recalls have taken place. Kelley Blue Book has estimated a 6-15% drop in Toyota’s value. Lawyers covering these lawsuits estimate that the owners will receive $500 per vehicle which will add up to about $3 million out of Toyota’s already dwindling bank account.
A group of attorneys named the Attorneys Toyota Action Consortium, or ATAC, have added racketeering claims to their lawsuits. Leading the effort is Northeastern University law professor Tim Howard. Howard said Toyota has known of accelerator problems since at least 2000 and engaged in a "conspiracy to hide the truth" from consumers.
"It’s become increasingly apparent that Toyota profits were not built on quality products, but on a willful pattern of deception, fraud and racketeering," Northeastern University law Organizations or RICO law, Howard said, it could push total Toyota class-action damages above $10 billion.
Toyota has been trying to clean up their image lately with some commercials highlighting their achievements in quality and dedication while admitting they have made some bad decisions. Will these commercials be enough? No one can really know. What we do know is that Toyota will have to work extremely hard at ensuring their vehicles are safe and dependable in order to restore some of its “Built on Quality” image. Make sure you check out Toyota’s commercial below.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle