Toyota to enter settlement negotiations
SANTA ANA, Calif. – After a four-year legal battle, Toyota is entering settlement talks on nearly 400 state and federal lawsuits that allege sudden unintended acceleration problems with its vehicles led to deaths and injuries.
Joint motions filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana and Los Angeles County Superior Court indicated both sides would begin an “intensive settlement process” next month.
The Japanese automaker, which has recalled millions of cars since 2009 over the acceleration issue, agreed to the negotiations to make resolving the cases more efficient, spokeswoman Carly Schaffner told The Associated Press on Friday. “We continue to stand behind the safety and quality of our vehicles,” she said.
Cases that don’t settle after a two-stage mediation process will go back to court for trial, said plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel Mark Robinson Jr., but most of the 375 claims will likely get resolved.