Judge James Selna, the federal judge in charge of the Toyota MDL, ruled that Toyota owners outside California who seek to recover losses in their vehicles’ value resulting from unintended acceleration cannot pursue their claims under California’s laws. The ruling was seen by some as a setback for the owners. California consumer protection laws may have given the owners a better chance than most states’ laws to recover on their “economic loss” claims. According to Toyota Motor Corp., about 70% of the economic loss claims were originally filed in states other than California.
Judge Selna said applying California law would revive many claims that other U.S. states would not permit, violating principles set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court on which law to apply. The Judge wrote in his order:
Application of California law to a nationwide class, at least in some instances, would drastically expand the scope of relief available to Plaintiffs (to the detriment of Toyota).
Toyota owners have alleged that their vehicles lost value because the company failed to disclose and fix problems with electronic throttle control systems, causing the vehicles to surge forward unexpectedly.
Source: Insurance Journal
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