Automaker giant Toyota has agreed to pay the Orange County, California District Attorney's office $16 million as part of a settlement over the company's safety recall for braking issues and unintended acceleration. The lawsuit, which the District Attorney claimed deceptive business practices, alleged that Toyota had concealed the safety problems, which related to floor mats and "sticky" gas pedals.
This suit was one of many filed against Toyota after the recalls in 2009 and 2010. More than 14 million vehicles were affected, but most of the lawsuits filed over the recalls still have not been settled or heard in court.
As per the settlement, the automaker was able to continue to deny all of the claims made by the District Attorney's office. A statement released by the company's vice president stated that the recall issues were addressed and the company is pleased that Toyotas are again seen as some of the most reliable and safest vehicles today. In the past, though, Toyota was quick to blame the driver, as well as defective floor mats and accelerator pedals that stuck, for all of the problems.
The District Attorney said that $8 million will go into the Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership in Orange County. This program targets kids in the fourth and fifth grades in an effort to keep them out of gangs. The remainder of the money will be used to pay for the costs of the lawsuit and for future lawsuits of a similar nature.
There are regulations and laws in place for how businesses can operate. If you believe a company is not abiding by those regulations or laws, or if you are considering another type of business litigation, an experienced business attorney can provide you with all of the options so you can make an informed decision about how you want to proceed.
Source: scpr.org, "http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/04/05/36710/toyota-to-pay-16-million-in-settlement-with-orange/," April 5, 2013