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BBB Tip of the Week

Sun., Feb. 24, 2013

In 2009 and 2010, Toyota Motor Corporation issued recalls of millions of vehicles from its Toyota and Lexus brands for problems related to faulty floor mats that could become entangled with gas pedals and cause unintended acceleration.

Toyota paid settlements of about $1 billion through 2012. Hundreds of personal injury and death suits have been filed in state and federal courts and are still active.

In February, the Washington state Attorney General, along with attorneys general from 28 other states and a U.S. territory, announced a $29 million settlement with Toyota Motor Corp. over allegations that the company failed to disclose in a timely manner safety issues related to the unintended acceleration.

Washington state will receive $1.5 million and a crash data retrieval system. And Toyota will not make safety claims about its vehicles that are not backed by sound engineering data.

Also as part of the settlement, Toyota will:

• Inform prospective buyers about any safety defects and certify the fix for any cars they reacquired from a recall and are reselling.

• In no way misrepresent the purpose of an inspection or repair when asking consumers to bring their vehicle to a dealer for that purpose.

• Exclude any vehicles acquired as a voluntary repurchase to ensure customer satisfaction or through the Lemon Law from its “Certified Used Vehicles” or “Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles” categories.

Toyota has agreed to develop a reimbursement program for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses not already compensated under the other legal settlements. Those car owners affected by Toyota’s recalls for faulty acceleration will have up to one year to request reimbursement for related costs, such as for rental cars, taxis and towing.

For more information on collecting reimbursement, call Toyota (800) 331-4331 or Lexus (800) 255-3987.

If you suspect that your Toyota or Lexus vehicle may have been part of a recall, you can check by entering its Vehicle Identification Number at web/pages/resources/recalls.

Every state has a Lemon Law. You can learn more about the Washington state Lemon Law and seek help through the BBB AUTO LINE program at href=””> /us/washington -lemon-law/ or by calling (800) 955-5100.

Erin T. Dodge, BBB Editor


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