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Toyota Recalls Increase Diminished Value Claims


Problems for Toyota don’t stop with the sudden acceleration problem or the floor mats. Now, Toyota owners want to recoup the diminished value their vehicle lost due to the Toyota recalls. Consumers are seeking damages for diminished value and loss of use of their vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp has its U.S. operations home based in California where it’s still the world’s largest automaker in terms of sales, but these mounting lawsuits may end up costing Toyota up to $3 billion .

A Panel of seven Federal judges from San Diego must decide on a location for the numerous proposed class-action lawsuits filed by Toyota owners across the country. Some of the lawsuits claim that although Toyota knew of the sudden acceleration problems, they chose to hide it from consumers and the government. Many consumers blame the Toyota recalls for their lowered Toyota Blue Book values. The panel’s decision isn’t expected for several weeks but when it comes, it’s expected to determine how the cases will proceed.

Toyota Blue Book-Diminished Value

“There’s blood in the water,” said Byron Stier recently, a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. “What Toyota is looking at is a battle that has a variety of stages that will take place in a variety of different courts,” Stier says. “They really have to be fighting on multiple fronts all at once.”

Toyota is facing several different types of lawsuits, not just for the Toyota Blue Book diminished value of their Toyotas. Many are class action lawsuits on behalf of seriously injured plaintiffs. Some are lawsuits for emotional distress brought about by plaintiffs fearing for their lives whenever they drive to the supermarket, and let’s not forget about the shareholder’s lawsuits. If there is blood in the water it could end up being  quite a feast.

Many believe there are answers locked inside the so called “black box” that is located on some Toyota models. There are two types of black boxes, better known as event data recorders (EDRs), those that record only post-crash data, and those that record pre- and post-crash data.

Toyota Recalls-Answers In EDRs

Here is a portion of a recent press release from Toyota to discuss the EDRs, “There are a variety of EDRs installed on Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the U.S. today. The data that is recorded and that can be read out and analyzed differs depending on the type of EDR that is installed in a particular vehicle and when the vehicle was manufactured.

Therefore, data regarding vehicle speed, engine speed, accelerator angle and brake application is not available in every make and model. However, by the end of 2010, all newly-manufactured Toyota and Lexus vehicles will have EDRs that can record both pre- and post-crash data.”

Many plaintiffs feel that Toyota had enough information at its disposal to handle the problems without the massive Toyota recalls. Had they fixed the problems as opposed to covering them up, the Toyota recall could have been avoided as well as the accompanying diminished value now being absorbed by innocent consumers. If you have a Toyota and you feel that it has diminished value because of the Toyota recalls, contact us at The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, we can help you.

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