Toyota Settles Pickup Frame Rust Lawsuit for $3.4 Billion



Toyota has settled a class-action suit brought by owners of pickup trucks and SUVs whose frames could rust through. Covering about 1.5 million vehicles and costing Toyota up to $3.4 billion, the out-of-court settlement resolves an issue that's been going on since 2000.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), the settlement includes model-year 2005-10 Tacoma mid-size pickup trucks, model-year 2007-08 Tundra full-size pickups and 2005-08 Sequoia SUVs (which used a modified Tundra frame) that allegedly received inadequate rust protection that could lead to serious frame damage from corrosive road salt and other snow-melting solutions.

Toyota has admitted no liability or wrongdoing. Under terms of the settlement, according to Automotive News, Toyota will inspect qualifying vehicles to determine if the frames need to be replaced. Toyota's total payout is based on a potential frame replacement cost of $15,000 per vehicle and inspections that cost $60 per vehicle; attorneys' fees and other costs are part of the $3.4 billion total.

"We want our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrates that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles," Toyota said in a statement.

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