Toyota Settles Class Action Lawsuit Over Recalled Fuel Pumps

Nearly six million Toyota and Lexus vehicles were affected by the fuel pump recalls

A settlement agreement has been reached in a Toyota class action lawsuit, which offers expense reimbursements and extended warranties to nearly 6 million owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles that may be at an increased risk of engine stalls due to failing fuel pumps, which could cause accidents and injuries if the engine stalls while the vehicle is on the road.

The settlement comes after a series of Toyota and Lexus fuel pump recalls that have been issued over the last two years, impacted approximately 5.8 million vehicles.

The Japanese automaker issued the first fuel pump recall in January 2020, impacting approximately 700,000 vehicles manufactured from 2017 through 2019. The recall indicated certain vehicles were equipped with defective fuel pumps supplied by Denso Corporation of Japan, which could be prone to failing, resulting in an engine stall that could cause a loss of vehicle control and pose a crash hazard. The recall warning also indicated the vehicles may fail to restart after a stall event.

Following the initial recall, Toyota and Lexus began investigating the defect and subsequently discovered an additional 1,122,428 vehicles were equipped with a similar style of Denso Corp. fuel pumps, which may also face a higher rate of failure. This resulted in a Toyota recall expansion on March 4, 2020.

As the automaker continued to investigate and repair recalled vehicles, additional reports of fuel pump failure were discovered outside the scope of the original recalls, resulting in a second expansion being issued on October 28, 2020. The second recall expansion impacted 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. alone.

Altogether, approximately 5.8 million vehicles impacted by the defect have been recalled worldwide, with more than 3 million registered in the United States.

Toyota Class Action Settlement

As a result of the Toyota and Lexus fuel pump problems, owners and lessees of the impacted models pursued a class action seeking lawsuit against Toyota and Denso International America Inc. for damages including out-of-pocket costs for repairs, rental vehicles and other financial burdens placed on consumers.

After months of negotiations, a preliminary settlement agreement (PDF) was reached on September 7, offering a series of benefits to Toyota and Lexus owners.

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The terms of the settlement agreement include three principle benefits to owners and lessees of dozens of Toyota and Lexus vehicle models manufactured from 2013 to 2020 equipped with Denso low-pressure fuel pumps, which include;

  • A “Customer Support Program” for Class Members with Additional Vehicles, that is, Subject Vehicles that have not been included in the Recalls;
  • An “Extended New Parts Warranty” for Subject Vehicles and SSC Vehicles; and
  • An “Out of Pocket Claims Process,” allowing for reimbursement of Class Member’s certain out of pocket expenses of repairing or replacing Fuel Pumps.

As part of the extended warranty program, Toyota has agreed to extend the warranties for the fuel pumps to 15 years or 150,000 miles, or whichever comes first. While terms have been reached between the parties, a judge must approve the final settlement agreement.

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