La. settles suit with Toyota over issues related to ‘unintended acceleration’

The settlement does not release Toyota from private rights of action, criminal liability or claims of property damage.

Louisiana will receive more than $1.4 million from a civil settlement with Toyota
Motor Corp. over issues
related to what has been termed “unintended acceleration” with some Toyota vehicles, a state Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman said Friday.

A court-filed copy of the settlement states that Louisiana, 28 other states and American Samoa will share $29 million as a result of settlements
with the Japanese automaker. Toyota announced the
settlement with the states last week.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office accused Toyota in a Feb. 13 lawsuit of violating the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act by failing to “warn of a known danger” and failing to “share critical safety related information and decision making between Japan and North American Toyota officials.”

Amanda Larkins, a spokeswoman with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, said Louisiana’s portion of the settlement is $1,457,058.

The agreement says the money can be used for, among other things, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and other costs of investigation and litigation, or can be placed in a consumer protection law enforcement fund or local consumer aid fund.

The settlement in the Louisiana suit also states that Toyota, at its own expense, agrees to — for a period of one year after entry to the final judgment — “consider in good faith customer requests for reimbursement” for such items as reasonable taxi fares, towing costs, rental car costs or other similar expenses.

The settlement does not release Toyota from private rights of action, criminal liability or claims of property damage.

Court documents note that the Agreed/Stipulated Final Judgment does not constitute evidence of any liability, fault or wrongdoing by Toyota.

“Toyota is entering into this Agreed/Stipulated Final Judgment solely for the purposes of settlement, and it is the intent of the Parties that nothing contained herein may be taken as or construed to be an admission or concession of any violation of law, rule, or regulation or of any other matter of fact or law or of any liability or wrongdoing, all of which Toyota denies,” the judgment reads.