Toyota settles with Colorado, other states for stuck accelerators -- and stonewalling officials

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John Suthers.
Colorado's portion of the settlement totals more than $650,000, which will go toward funding future consumer protection investigations and consumer education in Colorado. "If Toyota promotes the safety of its automobiles in its advertising, it must have sound engineering data to back it up," Suthers said in announcing the deal yesterday. "Further, Toyota has agreed to change its corporate culture regarding disclosure of safety issues and the company may now move forward with this matter behind it."

The states alleged that Toyota engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when it failed to disclose known safety defects with accelerator pedals in an expeditious manner. As part of the settlement, Toyota has agreed that U.S. officials will have timely access to information and the authority to fully participate in all decisions affecting the safe operation of Toyota vehicles advertised and sold domestically.

Toyota will also maintain an additional $5 million to directly reimburse Toyota and Lexus owners for out-of-pocket expenses incurred for costs including towing expenses, taxi fares and rental car fees that are related to recalls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of various Toyota and Lexus models.

The model and year of impacted cars:

2005-2010 Avalon
2007-2010 Camry
2009-2010 Corolla
2008-2010 Highlander
2007-2010 Lexus ES350
2006-2010 Lexus IS250
2006-2010 Lexus IS350
2010 Lexus RX 350
2010 Lexus RX 450h
2009-2010 Matrix
2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe
2004-2009 Prius
2009-2010 RAV4
2008-2010 Sequoia
2004 Sienna
2005-2010 Tacoma
2004-2010 Tundra
2009-2010 Venza
Consumers who believe they are entitled to refunds should contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 and Lexus at 1-800-255-3987; the lines are staffed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

From our archives: "Before the Prius: Ten compact cult cars to remember."

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