Reporting Pamela Jones
CHICAGO (CBS) – It all started with hundreds of lawsuits against Toyota, but tonight, it is ending with a billion dollar payout and the Toyota-owners are asking how much of that billion they’ll see.
CBS 2’s Pamela Jones went looking for the answer.
When Emily Tcheung and Akshay Jindal bought their Toyota Prius, news of potential issues with Toyotas suddenly speeding up all by themselves had just rolled out.
“We heard about them. We were a little afraid,” said Akshay Jindal.”It’s a good thing. It’s done, right?”
Now, the family’s hearing about a proposed billion-dollar settlement, resolving hundreds of lawsuits from Toyota owners.
Under the settlement, the company is offering cash to customers who sold Toyotas or leased them between September of 2009 and December of 2010.
“It’s not entirely clear what those people would get, said Rafey Balabanian, a Chicago attorney. “My guess is that they’re going to get somewhere between a $100 to $200. But again, it’s not disclosed in the settlement.”
Balabanian says consumers who opt-in to the settlement should beware, they can’t later hold Toyota responsible for other complaints.
“They are going to get individual payments under the lawsuit, but in exchange for those payments, they’re giving up a lot as well,” said Balabanian. “You can’t come back and say but this issue. I had this issue with my car. The seats don’t heat correctly.”
Federal judge still has to approve this settlement.
It would also include retrofitting eligible cars with a brake override system and a special warranty plan for some parts.
Attorneys say this is the largest cash for settlement of its kind in U.S. history.