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Toyota forks out £1bn settlement over fault claims

By Jonathan Ames

27 December 2012 at 14:01 BST

Japanese motorcar manufacture Toyota is to stump up more than $1 billion to settle an action over claims that millions of its vehicles suffered from dangerous acceleration faults.

Toyota: to much vroom vroom

Toyota: to much vroom vroom Massimiliano Lamagna/Shutterstock.com

A report from Detroit today on the Reuters news agency web site says the multinational giant will install safety systems and pay cash to owners in a bid to close the door on a US class-action involving some 16 million cars sold in that country.


According to a report in California legal profession publication The Recorder, lawyers for the claimants described the settlement as a ‘landmark’, Marc Seltzer, a litigation partner at Los Angeles law firm Susman Godfrey, who was co-lead lawyer for the claimants, told the publication: ‘This was an exceptionally hard fought case and the relief obtained is also exceptional.’
The report says the settlement – which was filed at a federal court in Orange County in California and made public yesterday – will not resolve a range of pending personal injury claims. The models affected, according to media reports, fell under the Toyota, Lexus and Scion marques.
The other co-lead lawyers were Steve Berman, a partner at Seattle-based Berman Sobol Shapiro, and Frank Pitre, a partner at San Francisco-area law firm Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy.

  • Elsewhere in US corporate litigation, federal prosecutors yesterday charged a research analyst over insider trading allegations involving computer giant IBM.According to Reuters, Trent Martin, who worked at a Connecticut-based brokerage business, was charged with purchasing shares in software business SPSS before it was bought by the multinational in 2009 for $1.2 billion. Mr Martin is also alleged to have tipped others to the pending deal.At the end of last November, the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission charged two former stockbrokers with insider dealing in relation to the purchase.

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