Toyota Motor Corp. will pay up to $3.4 billion to settle a class action lawsuit brought by U.S. pickup truck and SUV owners who claimed their vehicles lacked adequate rust protection.
Court filings show that the proposed settlement covers 1.5 million vehicles, dealing a financial blow to the Japanese automaker, whose trucks were subject to corrosion that could harm their structural integrity. The settlement applies to Tacoma trucks made from 2005 to 2010, Sequoias from 2005 to 2008 and Tundras from 2007 to 2008.
The settlement estimates the value of replacing the frame at roughly $15,000 per vehicle. Plaintiffs’ lawyers had pegged the total cost at nearly $3.4 billion.
Under the settlement, Toyota will inspect vehicles for 12 years from their initial sales or lease date to decide if the owner is eligible for a replaced frame or reimbursement.
The proposed settlement was reached Oct. 31 and filed Wednesday before U.S. District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin in Los Angeles. Toyota didn’t admit liability or wrongdoing in proposing the settlement.
“We want our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrates that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles,” Toyota said in a statement.