Akio ToyodaEnlarge Photo
Back in December, we told you that Toyota had offered to fork over $1.1 billion to settle lawsuits over allegations of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles and a subsequent 2010 recall.
About half of that money was meant to fix floormat issues and install brake-override systems, but the other half was earmarked for something entirely different: compensating Toyota and Lexus owners who sold or traded in their vehicles after the recall. Due to the hugely negative publicity surrounding the recall, those owners' vehicles were worth far less than they might've been.
In other words, much of Toyota's $1.1 billion payout wasn't going to fix problems on cars; it was going to make up for the monetary damages customers suffered in the wake of the Toyota and Lexus brand-bashing.
Now, AutoNews reports that a federal judge could approve Toyota's settlement plan as early as today -- though at this point, the settlement figure has grown by roughly $500 million to reach $1.63 billion.
Why the holdup? Apparently, Toyota was still working out the details of the huge payout. It looks as if Toyota will now spend $757 million compensating customers for sudden depreciation (and paying lawyers, of course), while $875 million will go toward repairing and improving vehicles.
If you own or owned a Toyota, Lexus, or Scion vehicle during the past three years, visit ToyotaELSettlement.com or call 877-283-0507 to see if this pending settlement affects you. And hurry: the deadline to file a claim is July 29.