Toyota settles truck corrosion lawsuit

Toyota admits no liability or wrongdoing in $3.4 billion settlement

Published: November 13, 2016, 9:20 PM
Updated: November 17, 2016, 4:32 AM

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2009-2012 Toyota Tacoma - Compact and mid-size pickups are starting to boom again, but for those wanting something used and smaller than an ocean liner, the Toyota Tacoma is arguably the best option. Sharing some bits with the legendary Hilux, but designed for North American tastes, the Tacoma is a tough, reliable and reasonably frugal – at least compared with the thirsty V-8s of its full size competition.

Toyota has agreed to pay $3.4 billion to settle a class action lawsuit brought by US truck owners who claimed their vehicles lacked adequate rust protection.

The federal lawsuit covers owners of about 1.5 million vehicles — 2005-10 Tacoma mid-sized pickups, 2007-08 Tundra full-sized pickups and 2005-08 Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicles — alleging that the lack of corrosion protection could be severe enough to rust though frames.

2015 CBB Retained Value Award Winner - Toyota Sequoia - Full-size SUV – Toyota Sequoia: Just like in the full-size pickup class, when it comes to full-size seven-seat SUVs, the answer is Toyota. The Sequoia has been the CBB favourite for five years thanks to its durability and reasonable refinement, along with strong tow ratings. Dodge’s latest Durango comes closest in retained value thanks to its Mercedes-Benz parentage, while the older, unchanged Nissan Armada is next.

The settlement, filed with U.S. District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin in Los Angeles without admittance of liability or wrongdoing on the part of Toyota, estimates the replacement of each vehicle’s frame at $15,000 each, following inspections estimated to cost $60 per vehicle (total costs are $3.375 billion and $90 million, respectively).

Following the inspection, which Toyota will perform for 12 years following the date of purchase or lease, will decide whether to replace the frame or pay out the equivalent cost to the owner. They will also reimburse owners who have already paid for frame repairs or replacement.

2007 Toyota Tundra CrewMax

“We want our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrates that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles,” said a company statement.