Toyota to pay out US$1b to settle claims over accelerator recall

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 December, 2012, 5:46am

Toyota Motor is set to pay more than US$1.1 billion to settle consumer claims and legal bills over the recall of more than 10 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles sold in the US and Puerto Rico.

A compensation deal reached by Toyota lawyers and car buyers is expected to be made final by the US district court for central California next year.

Toyota did not admit defects in its vehicles or wrongdoing in the settlement, which covers any car that had an electronic throttle control system.

While the settlement does not apply to vehicles sold in Hong Kong, people in the city or family members who owned or have Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the US can claim compensation.

Crown Motors, the Toyota and Lexus distributor in Hong Kong, was unable to comment on whether there had been problems with unintended acceleration in vehicles sold in the city.

All existing and former owners of 41 Toyota, Lexus and Scion models mainly built between 2001 and 2010 will be contacted from March 1 to see if they want to claim.

Toyota Motor will pay US$250 million into a fund to pay diminished value claims from people who sold or returned leased vehicles between September 2009 and December 2010.

A further US$250 million is earmarked for people who still own their vehicles, while US$227 million will be used to pay lawyers' fees and expenses.

Toyota will also install a brake override system in about 3.25 million vehicles.

Associated Press, Reuters