SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California judge said Friday that he’s finalizing a settlement worth more than $1 billion in cases where motorists say the value of their Toyota vehicles plunged after recalls over claims they unexpectedly accelerated.
U.S. District Judge James Selna said he was approving the deal that was announced in December and will affect 22 million consumers. since 2009, when the Japanese automaker started receiving complaints that its cars accelerated on their own. More than 14 million vehicles have been recalled.
Toyota has denied the allegations, blaming driver error, faulty floor mats, and stuck accelerator pedals for the problems. Steve Berman, an attorney representing Toyota owners, has said the settlement is the largest in U.S. history involving automobile defects, estimated to be in value of up to $1.6 billion. He added that those who sold their vehicles at a loss can receive anywhere from $125 to $10,000.