FOLLOWING a federal class action lawsuit by US pickup truck and SUV owners, Toyota Motor Corp. will pay up to $3.4 billion to owners of cars that lack necessary rust protection.
The settlement reached on October 31, 2016, covers 1.5 million cars, all of which reportedly suffered from inadequate rust protection which could lead to serious corrosion and compromised structural integrity.
Affected cars include: Tacoma compact pickups (2005-2010), Tundra pickups (2007-2008) and Sequoia SUVs (2005-2008).
Under the settlement, each plaintiff’s car would be eligible to receive frame replacements valued at $15,000 and vehicle inspections valued at $60 per vehicle, leading to the hefty $3.4 billion figure.
Toyota will also have to inspect vehicles for up to 12 years from their initial sales or lease date to decide if further owners are eligible for a replaced frame or reimbursement.
While Toyota admitted no fault in the proposed settlement, they expressed their focus on customer service and wanted to make sure that no customers lost faith in their product.
“We want our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrated that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles,” Toyota said in a statement.
Included in the deal is a further $9.9 million for attorney’s fees dating back to the onset of the case in early 2014.