Miller Barondess partners Amnon Siegel and Casey Sypek represent a class of 1.1 million Prius owners in a federal court putative class action against Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. for concealing a defect that causes engines to shut down while driving or go into limited operation where the maximum speed of the vehicle is about 15 mph. The class contends that Toyota knew about this defect for years but failed to issue an appropriate remedy for it, instead choosing a cheaper, inadequate fix that did not prevent the dangerous failures from occurring on American roads. Plaintiffs defeated Toyota’s motion to dismiss.
In late 2021, after 17 months of negotiations and mediation, the parties reached a preliminary settlement for the significant benefit of the Prius owners, which includes the following key components: a $20 million non-reversionary settlement fund that will replenish to pay all valid claims for repair and replacement relating to defect, reimbursement of all expenses incurred for any failures relating to defect, an extended warranty covering any failure relating to defect for 20 years from the date of sale, and $19 million in attorneys’ fees. In May 2022, the court granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement.
Subsequent to our lawsuit, Toyota issued two recalls on these Prius vehicles designed to address the very defect we were claiming Toyota did not fix – an admission of sorts that Miller Barondess had uncovered a safety defect that had not been remedied. Part of the settlement seeks to credit Miller Barondess’ class action lawsuit for being the catalyst for these recalls as a result of our litigation effort.
McCarthy, et al. v. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al., U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 8:18-CV-00201-JLS-KE