Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. has reached a settlement with more than 800,000 drivers in a proposed class action lawsuit that was pending in a California federal court. It was alleged in the suit that defects in the power steering systems of some Corollas caused them to drift out of control. In a joint motion the Plaintiffs and Toyota asked the court to preliminarily approve the settlement, which had been agreed to in March. The Plaintiffs, Irene Corson and Susan M. Yacks, had sought to certify a nationwide class of former and current owners and lessees of Corollas.
Under the terms of the settlement, for class members who have complained about the on-center steering feel of their vehicle, the retuned electronic control unit will be installed at no cost. For those who haven’t previously complained, the retuned electronic control unit will be available at a 50 percent discount. Class members who paid out-of-pocket to have the returned electronic control unit installed may be reimbursed up to $695, according to the memorandum of settlement.
The complaint was filed in October by two owners of 2009 Toyota Corollas, Irene Corson of New York and Susan Yacks of Pennsylvania. NHTSA opened an investigation in February 2010 of the electric power steering system in the Corolla and Matrix models and found that related consumer complaints dealt with operational issues, but not with a failure of steering elements. The investigation was closed by May 2011.
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