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Toyota asked to make car payments for customers in new class action lawsuit

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Toyota asked to make car payments for customers in new class action lawsuit

And the Toyota beat rolls on. Or should we say the Toyota beat down rolls on. Check this out: a group of Toyota owners (and leasers) have asked a judge to file a class action suit demanding that until their accelerator pedals are fixed, Toyota should pick up the tab for the recalled cars. That's right, some folks in Cincinatti feel they shouldn't have to make any payments to Toyota until their cars are fixed. Here's what the lawyer filing the suit has to say:

"Until they make it safe, people shouldn't have to pay their lease payments and shouldn't have to make their bank payments. Let Toyota pick that up."

Not being of the legal persuasion, we have no idea if the judge will allow this, as it would set a fairly dangerous precedent for all auto makers. Imagine if every time a car got recalled for a faulty cup holder (or whatever) the owners didn't have to pay for it. While it might sound like music to a recalled person's ears, corporations have a nasty habit of massing them sorts of costs back onto the consumers en masse, meaning we all could suffer.

Though perhaps this proposed class action suit (the second one concerning ToMoCo we're aware of) will be contained just to Toyota. Here's a bit more of what the suit alleges, "t was more important to Toyota to increase sales and become the largest manufacturer in the world. Toyota sacrificed innocent, trusting lives for profit and hubris." Your Volvo's stall-prone software is hardly in the same league.

The suit doesn't stop there. Another cited reason for Toyota to pick up the monthly payment tab is because all this recall hysteria has hurt the value of the cars in question. Frankly, and long term, that might be the most interesting point of all. The suit also claims that Toyota has previously "destroyed potentially incriminating documents" and wants the court put a stop to the alleged practice.

LINK:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/03/toyota-asked-to-make-car-payments-for-customers-in-new-class-act/

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Toyota owners in Cincinnati sue car maker

Chesley says company should make car payments until problem is fixed

BY DAN HORN • DHORN@ENQUIRER.COM • FEBRUARY 2, 2010

Toyota car owners in Cincinnati asked a judge Tuesday to force the auto maker to pay their lease and car loan payments until the company fixes a problem with sticking accelerator pedals.

In a class action lawsuit filed in Hamilton County, the car owners also criticized Toyota's planned fix for the accelerator problem and demanded the company stop selling cars until it comes up with a better solution.

"Until they make it safe, people shouldn't have to pay their lease payments and shouldn't have to make their bank payments," said Stan Chesley, the Cincinnati lawyer who filed the suit. "Let Toyota pick that up."

The lawsuit comes one day after Toyota officials announced the company will begin fixing accelerator pedals in more than 2 million vehicles that have been recalled because of a defective pedal assembly. Company officials also have said they will address complaints that floor mats can become entangled with the pedals on some vehicles.

The massive recall has embarrassed the auto maker, which often touts its reputation for reliability, and has forced it to stop production of all eight affected models for at least one week.

The two Cincinnati car owners, Hugh and Pamela Cox, accuse the company of being slow to acknowledge the safety problem and say they no longer can drive their 2010 Camry because their dealer has been unable to get the parts needed to repair the car.

Their lawsuit also says the company ignored years of warnings about the accelerator pedals and it questions whether an electrical problem - rather than a part in the pedal assembly - is to blame for the sudden acceleration of some Toyota vehicles.

The suit claims Toyota was slow to respond to the problem because "it was more important to Toyota to increase sales and become the largest manufacturer in the world.

"Toyota sacrificed innocent, trusting lives for profit and hubris," the lawsuit states.

Officials at Toyota's U.S. headquarters and at Beechmont Toyota, the Cox's Cincinnati car dealer, could not be reached late Tuesday. But Toyota President Jim Lentz said Monday that the company cares about customer safety and is determined to fix the accelerator problem.

"We know what's causing the sticking accelerator pedals, and we know what we have to do to fix it," Lentz said in a statement Monday. "We deeply regret the concern that our recalls have caused for our customers."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages for fraud, fraudulent concealment, violation of consumer sales practices, deceptive trade practices, breach of warranty and negligence.

Chesley said the company should start making car payments for customers because safety concerns have hurt the value of their cars and deprived customers of the ability to drive them.

The lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, also seeks a court order requiring the company to preserve all documents related to the accelerator problem. It claims the company has destroyed potentially incriminating documents in the past and the court order is needed to ensure it doesn't happen again.

"It is clear that Toyota is hiding something under the carpet," said Chesley. "Toyota has long known about the defect and has done too little, too late to correct it."

LINK:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100202/NEWS010702/2030366/1055/NEWS/Local+Toyota+owners+file+suit

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