Toy­ota to set­tle suits for de­fects

$1 bil­lion-plus for plain­tiffs in sud­den-ac­cel­er­a­tion cases.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By Greg Ris­ling

LOS AN­GE­LES — Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp. said Wed­nes­day it has reached a set­tle­ment worth more than $1 bil­lion in a case in­volv­ing hun­dreds of law­suits over ac­cel­er­a­tion prob­lems in its ve­hi­cles.

The com­pany said in a state­ment that the deal will re­solve cases in­volv­ing mo­torists who said the value of their ve­hi­cles plum­meted af­ter a se­ries of re­calls by the Ja­panese au­tomaker stem­ming from claims of sud­den ac­cel­er­a­tion de­fects.

Lawyer Steve Ber­man, a plain­tiffs’ at­tor­ney, said the set­tle­ment is the largest set­tle­ment in U.S. his­tory in­volv­ing au­to­mo­bile de­fects.

The pro­posed deal was filed Wed­nes­day and must re­ceive the ap­proval of U.S. District Judge James Selna. He’s ex­pected to re­view the deal Fri­day.

Ber­man said the to­tal value of the deal is be­tween $1.2 bil­lion and $1.4 bil­lion. Toy­ota said it will take a one-time, $1.1 bil­lion pre-tax charge against earn­ings to cover the es­ti­mated costs.

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