2012 Toyota Prius vEnlarge Photo
Last month, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety unveiled the results of a new testing program designed to put collision-avoidance systems through the wringer. Some performed very well; others, less so.
In the latter camp: the Toyota Prius V. According to the IIHS, "The Toyota Prius v wagon, which claims to have autobrake, had minimal braking in IIHS tests and currently fails to meet NHTSA criteria for forward collision warning. It doesn't qualify for an IIHS front crash prevention rating."
To make matters worse, the Prius v's flop of a collision-avoidance system is a pricey add-on: it's part of a technology package that costs more than $5,000. Naturally, after reviewing the IIHS report, some Toyota owners in the U.S. were unhappy to hear that their money had been ill-spent.
And so, being Americans, they did what Americans have done for decades: they filed a lawsuit.
In a press release, plaintiffs claim that at least $1,000 of the $5,000 cost of the technology package is attributable to Toyota's Pre-Collision System. Not surprisingly, they want Toyota to reimburse them that $1,000, and they also want Toyota to alter its marketing of the Pre-Collision System to more accurately reflect IIHS findings. The plaintiffs have asked that their case be granted class-action status.
Legal eagles might be interested to know that plaintiffs are represented by the McCuneWright law firm in California -- the same McCuneWright that recently settled a $1.6 billion class-action case against Toyota for unintended acceleration, and the same McCuneWright that has filed class-action suits against Ford, Hyundai, and Kia for bogus fuel-economy claims. Hooray for consistency.