LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada is getting about $1.4 million in a multi-state settlement with Toyota over problems with accelerator pedals. State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced Thursday that Nevada would be getting part of a $29 million pot split among 29 different states and one U.S. territory. The money will go the state's general fund, and the Legislature can determine how to use it. State attorney generals argued that Toyota failed to disclose dangerous safety defects with its accelerator pedals in a timely fashion. Masto said an investigation pinpointed poor communication between Toyota locations in Japan and in the U.S. Toyota released a statement vowing to make vehicle information more accessible to customers.
“Unintended acceleration of a vehicle puts the health and safety of Nevadans and others across this nation in jeopardy,” said Masto. “This case underscores the need for changes in corporate culture. Consumers have the right to learn about safety issues in a timely manner so that issues can be identified and immediately addressed.”
In a complaint filed today along with the settlement agreement, the states alleged Toyota engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it failed to timely disclose known safety defects with accelerator pedals. The investigating State Attorneys General determined poor communication between Toyota’s nerve center in Japan and Toyota’s United States holdings was partially responsible for Toyota’s failure to timely report known safety issues.
Toyota will ensure that officials and officers of its U.S. 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 U.S. The requested culture and chain of command changes will also improve communication regarding safety between Toyota’s holdings in the U.S. and Toyota’s other global holdings.
The State Attorneys General believe the agreed changes in Toyota’s corporate communications and in the chain of command for making decisions regarding safety will allow the company to move forward in a positive manner with improved responsiveness to safety concerns.
In addition, the settlement provides that Toyota is:
- Prohibited from reselling a vehicle it reacquired with alleged safety defects without informing the purchaser about the alleged defect(s) and certifying that the reacquired vehicle has been fixed;
- Prohibited from misrepresenting the purpose of an inspection or repair when directing consumers to bring their vehicles to a dealer for inspection or repair; and
- 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.
For more information contact:
- Toyota – 1-800-331-4331
- Lexus – 1-800-255-3987
The lines are staffed from 5 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, and are staffed on Saturdays from 7 a.m. PT to 4 p.m. PT.