Consumer Fraud

Court filings accuse Toyota of repurchasing defective vehicles

Court filings in class action litigation against Toyota regarding cases of sudden unintended acceleration allege the auto manufacturer repurchased vehicles from owners who reported the defect, and forced them to sign confidentiality agreements promising not to discuss the complaint, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press. Attorneys in the litigation also allege that Toyota ran tests on the repurchased cars, and its technicians were able to replicate the problem, which they have been adamant in the past that they could not do.

According to the Free Press, the new information was revealed in a 1,056-page document filed Wednesday as part of a class-action case against Toyota.

Hundreds of lawsuits were filed against Toyota since September 2009, when the automaker began what would become a massive recall of many different makes and models of its vehicles. Consumers reported problems ranging from sudden unintended acceleration to faulty brakes. Toyota steadfastly insisted the sudden acceleration problems were the result of improperly installed floormats, or even driver error, even after independent testing showed a possible link to the vehicle’s electrical systems.

Litigation has been consolidated under U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, Calif. Beasley Allen attorney W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III, who heads the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section, has been appointed to the multidistrict litigation as part of the Liaison Committee for personal injury and wrongful death.