More about the Toyota Recall

November 2, 2010

First came news of a massive Toyota recall for unintended acceleration, then came reports that perhaps few if any of the vehicles actually had verifiable problems.

Now, however, an article alleges that Toyota was secretly repurchasing vehicles that demonstrated unintended acceleration. The consumer would then sign a confidentiality agreement, allowing Toyota to mislead the entire public about the lack of acceleration problems.

Toyota claims that sometimes they would repurchase the vehicles to be able to test them. Toyota continues to claim, as well, that the problem are overwhelmingly user error or nonexistent.

Yet, with a recall covering tens of millions of vehicles and a $16.4 million fine, it seems more plausible that some vehicles must have had problems. While a repurchase does not prove the vehicle had a defect, it does show that the consumer had legal evidence that encouraged Toyota to resolve the claim. Part of Toyota’s problem has been trying to cover up defects rather than address them. At a minimum, plaintiffs and consumers should be entitled to explore the evidence in those repurchased vehicles.

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