"In spite of the evidence that millions of vehicles had serious defects, Toyota
continued to promote and sell cars that put its customers in great danger,"
The states allege that Toyota officials were aware of the
defects that caused millions of its vehicles, including the Camry, Corolla and
Prius, to unintentionally accelerate but failed to alert the public and
continued to market and advertise Toyota vehicles as safe. The defects led to
wide-ranging recalls of its vehicles in late 2009 and 2010.
Under the agreement, Toyota will pay $29 million to the states, including
nearly $1 million to Illinois. While most vehicles covered in the recall have
been repaired, the company also agreed to provide additional restitution for
customers who incurred related costs, such as for rental cars or public
transportation. In addition to the restitution, the settlement bans Toyota from
advertising the safety of vehicles without sound engineering data to back such
safety claims, according to the agreement.
The states' investigation showed that poor internal communication within
Toyota partially allowed for the manufacturer's failure to report the safety
concerns to drivers in a timely manner. The settlement requires Toyota to
implement changes to its corporate culture and corporate chain of command to
prevent future communication failures. Toyota will ensure that officials and
officers of its United States operations have timely access to information and
the authority to fully participate in all decisions affecting the safe operation
of Toyota vehicles advertised and sold in the United States.
[to top of second column]
In addition, the settlement provides that Toyota is:
reselling a vehicle it reacquired with alleged safety defects
without informing the purchaser about the alleged defects and
certifying that the reacquired vehicle has been fixed.
misrepresenting the purpose of an inspection or repair when
directing consumers to bring their vehicles to a dealer for
inspection or repair.
Required to exclude from the "Toyota
Certified Used Vehicles" or "Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles"
categories any vehicle acquired through lemon law proceedings or
voluntarily repurchased by Toyota to ensure customer
Joining in the settlement along with Madigan were attorneys
general from Alabama, the U.S. territory American Samoa, Arizona,
Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, 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
[Text from file received from the office
Illinois Attorney General Lisa