Toyota Airbag Control Unit Settlement Reached

2011 Toyota Matrix.

A Toyota airbag control unit settlement has been reached between the automaker and 11 vehicle owners who allege their airbag control units are defective.

None of the plaintiffs claim their control units, seat belts or airbags failed.

The Toyota airbag control unit settlement arises from a huge consolidated class action which includes Kia, Hyundai, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi.

Toyota decided to settle the lawsuit to put the matter behind it because the case could drag on for years.

"Toyota has denied and continues to deny each and all of the claims and contentions alleged in the Actions, and has denied and continues to deny that it has committed any violation of law or engaged in any wrongful act or omission that was alleged, or that could have been alleged, in the Actions," Toyota said.

You are included in this class action if you own, lease, or previously owned or leased one of these vehicles as of July 31:

  • 2011–2019 Toyota Corolla
  • 2011–2013 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2012–2018 Toyota Avalon
  • 2013–2018 Toyota Avalon HV
  • 2012–2019 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2012–2017 Toyota Tundra
  • 2012–2017 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota recalled nearly 3 million vehicles in January 2020 except for the Tacoma, Tundra and Sequoia, even though the automaker had received no warranty claims about the airbag control units in the older vehicles.

The class action alleges the Toyota airbag control units are defective because they contain DS84 application-specific integrated circuits which can suffer from electrical overstress from too many electrical signals during crashes. This causes the airbag control units to fail, which in turn cause failures of the seat belt pretensioners and airbags.

When Toyota issued the 2020 recall, the automaker said the condition was "rare" because several circumstances must occur at the same time during a crash.

At least 13 class action lawsuits were filed against multiple automakers after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an airbag control unit investigation in 2018. Those class actions were consolidated into the case known as In Re: ZF-TRW Airbag Control Units Products Liability Litigation.

Toyota Airbag Control Unit Settlement

The Toyota airbag control unit settlement provides reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses related to the Toyota recall such as for towing or rental cars. However, Toyota had already offered reimbursements when the recall was announced in January 2020.

Toyota has also agreed to extend the time period for the service part warranty coverage to 12 years.

Certain Toyota customers may be eligible for a one-time payment of $250, "on a per capita basis to all Class Members who submitted out-of-pocket claims and to all Class Members who registered for a residual payment only.”

The judge will hold a final fairness hearing Nov. 16.

An owner who wants to object to the Toyota airbag control unit settlement must do so by Oct. 20. That's also the deadline if you want to exclude yourself from the settlement.

If the judge approves the airbag control unit settlement, the 11 owners who sued will receive $2,500 each. The attorneys representing those owners will receive $25.9 million.

The 11 owners who sued are Mark Altier, Alejandra Renteria, Samuel Choc, Tatiana Gales, Gary Samouris, Michael Hines, Brent DeRouen, Danny Hunt, Even Green, Joy Davis and Dee Roberts.

Toyota owners who want to learn more about the airbag control unit settlement should click here.

The Toyota airbag class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: In Re: ZF-TRW Airbag Control Units Products Liability Litigation.

The plaintiffs in the consolidated ZF airbag lawsuit are represented by Keller Rohrback L.L.P., Baron & Budd, P.C., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Ahdoot & Wolfson, PC, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP, DiCello Levitt Gutzler LLC, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP, Levi & Korsinsky, LLP, Podhurst Orseck, P.A., Pritzker Levine LLP, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, Robins Kaplan LLP, Seeger Weiss LLP and Hellmuth & Johnson.

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