Toyota has agreed to pay more than US$ 1 billion as settlement money to all those who filed a lawsuit against them regarding the unintended-acceleration recalls for their cars in the United States.
Toyota says the money is going to be used to settle ‘hundreds’ of U.S. civil cases involving infuriated owners who claim their cars’ resale value plummeted due to the well-publicised unintended-acceleration issue which led to the Japanese automaker recalling 14 million vehicles worldwide since 2009.
The money is, however, not going to be used to settle cases which have led to injury or death due to unintended acceleration. There will be separate trials for those cases.
The US$ 1.1 billion will be used to cover different things. About US$ 250 million will be used to pay Americans who sold their Toyota or turned in leased vehicles between September 2009 to December 2010. Also, warranty will be provided for certain components of the car and about 3.2 million cars will be retrofitted with new brake-override system which ensures the car will stop, even if the accelerator pedal is depressed. Part of the settlement will also be used to fund new car-safety technologies and driver-education programmes, whatever that means.
In other news Toyota says they expect sales to go up for 2013 thanks to increasing U.S. demand, where Japanese cars will become cheaper due to the falling Yen. Of course, none of this applies to the UAE, KSA or any GCC market, where no one gets compensated for recalls, and the only way car prices go is up.