Toyota settles safety lawsuit for $29M

Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Toyota Motor Corp. said it reached a $29 million settlement with 29 U.S. states and one territory regarding inadequate safety information practices.

The settlement involves 29 states and American Samoa, which took the company to court for failing to disclose important safety information. Prosecutors also said there were communication problems between Toyota's offices in Japan and in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

Toyota has recently reached a $1.1 billion settlement agreement to take care of claims from car owners that uncontrolled acceleration problems, which prompted recalls of more than 10 million vehicles, had depressed the resale value of its cars.

The company also faces approximately 300 additional wrongful death and injury lawsuits involving the uncontrolled acceleration problems, which sparked recalls beginning in late 2009.

Toyota has settled one wrongful death suit for $10 million. That case involved a 2007 Lexus ES in an accident that killed four people.

That case was settled in 2010.

In addition to the monetary penalty in the case settled Thursday, Toyota has agreed to be more forthcoming on information that concerns safety issues and to continue a rapid-response program to help drivers when safety-oriented issues arise.

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