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Car Maker to Pay $29 Million to Settle Consumer Protection Claims
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today joined 28 other states and American Samoa in announcing a $29 million settlement with Toyota Motor Corporation and its related North American entities over allegations, among other things, that Toyota misled the public regarding safety issues related to unintended acceleration.
Toyota agreed to pay $29 million to settle consumer protection claims and has agreed to provide additional restitution to certain vehicle owners to promote compliance with the covered safety recalls. As a result of the settlement, Wisconsin will receive $674,001.03, and Toyota will be restricted from advertising the safety of vehicles without sound scientific or engineering data to back such safety claims.
“This settlement is significant in that it helps to ensure the car maker abides by Wisconsin law and importantly, sends a message to others who look to engage in similar advertising behavior,” Attorney General Van Hollen said.
In a Complaint filed today, the State of Wisconsin alleged, among other things, that Toyota and its related North American subsidiaries made advertisements, statements and representations that were untrue, deceptive or misleading as to Toyota motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment being safe and reliable. In the Stipulated Final Judgment also submitted today for the Court’s review and approval, Toyota and its related North American subsidiaries do not admit any wrongdoing or any violation of the applicable Wisconsin law.
Among other things, the settlement provides that Toyota is, for a period of at least four years:
Consumers in need of assistance may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office led the investigation along with the Attorneys General from Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington. The following states and U.S. 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.
Assistant Attorney General Phillip Ferris represents the State of Wisconsin in this matter.
Please find below links to the Complaint and the Stipulated Final Judgment filed for the Court’s consideration: