Recently, Toyota has been the focus of intense scrutiny following numerous reports of the gas pedal becoming stuck in the down position and causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. In many cases, Toyota emphatically denied the accusations, attributing certain incidents to driver confusion which led them to accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brakes.
However, this did not stop a number of personal injury lawsuits from being filed against the automobile manufacturer, and now comes word that that litigation has been settled. Toyota Motor North America will pay $1.1 billion under the terms of the settlement, a figure that will be used to pay for the resolution of an investigation by Attorneys General from various states and litigation by the DA in Orange County, California.
Owners of the vehicles that were the subject of the investigation should take note, as they could be eligible for a cash payment. Toyota has stated that those persons who sold their vehicles between 2009 and 2010 or who still are in possession of one of the automobiles could be eligible.
Part of the money will also go to various safety research initiatives and to fund programs designed to help educate drivers. The settlement still has to be approved by a Central District Court Judge in California, but if approval is granted, a customer support program will also be created.