The settlement amount was for $29 million which was based on some Toyotas have sudden acceleration problems.
It's a good Valentine's Day gift for consumers as the national agreement establishes a customer restitution fund, along with $1.14 million in civil penalties and $217,000 in attorneys' fees for the State of Texas.
Twenty-nine states in addition to Texas under Abbott's direction were involved in a multistate state investigation into Toyota's actions in the wake of the discovery that certain vehicle models were subject to sudden, spontaneous accelerations.
The states investigated whether Toyota adequately and promptly disclosed that its voluntary recalls had safety implications for vehicle owners of its most popular models, including the Camry and Lexus sedans. Also investigated were the Tundra and Tacoma trucks and the Prius hybrid.
The agreement also requires that Toyota set aside at least $5 million for the restitution fund, which will be available to customers who had out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses include rental cars or taxi fees as a result of the recalls in 2009 and 2010.
The agreement further protects consumers in that Toyota is required to significantly improve corporate communications regarding safety issues on all vehicles it sells in the United States.
The broad-ranging settlement also prohibits Toyota from reselling vehicles it reacquired with alleged safety defects unless Toyota provides notice to prospective buyers of the possible defects and certifies that the vehicles do not have any identifiable problems.
The agreement is probably the best Valentine's Day present consumers will receive today although chocolates are tempting.
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