DETROIT (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp plans to spend $1.1 billion to resolve sweeping U.S. class-action litigation over claims that millions of its vehicles accelerate unintentionally, as the Japanese automaker looks to turn the page on the biggest safety crisis in its history.
About 16 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles sold in the United States spanning the model years 1998 to 2010 are covered by the action, according to court filings made public on Wednesday. Thirty nameplates are affected, including the top-selling Toyota Camry midsize sedan and Corolla compact car.
Toyota, the No. 3 automaker in the U.S. market, admitted no fault in proposing the settlement, one of the largest of U.S. mass class-action litigation in the automotive sector. Investors snapped up shares of Toyota and its stock rose 2 percent in early trading.
“This was a difficult decision, especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations have confirmed the safety of Toyota’s electronic throttle control systems,” Christopher Reynolds, general counsel for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, said in a statement.
“However, we concluded that turning the page on this legacy legal issue through the positive steps we are taking is in the best interests of the company, our employees, our dealers and, most of all, our customers.”
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