North Carolina will receive close to $1 million from Toyota as part of a $29 million settlement the car maker has made with 30 states to resolve allegations that it concealed safety issues.
“People expect their cars to get them where they need to go safely, and car makers have a responsibility to be upfront with drivers about safety issues and recalls,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement announcing the settlement. “This settlement helps ensure that consumers will get better safety information about their cars faster in the future.”
North Carolina will receive $809,766.68 from Toyota and its North American entities. The settlement is the result of a multi-state investigation that began in 2009 after Toyota owners reported that their cars accelerated suddenly and unexpectedly.
Toyota will provide additional restitution and incentives to vehicle owners to encourage them to comply with safety recalls related to the acceleration problem. Under the settlement, Toyota will be restricted from advertising its cars’ safety unless it has sound engineering data to back those claims.
According to the AG's office, Toyota also is:
- Prohibited from reselling a car it reacquired with alleged safety defects without informing the purchaser about the alleged defects and certifying that the car has been fixed.
- Prohibited from misrepresenting the purpose of an inspection or repair when directing owners 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 satisfaction.
Consumers with questions about safety or recall issues with their vehicle can contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.