No sooner does Toyota recover from the fallout of its defective brake lawsuits, then the company is faced with more consumer class action lawsuits. This time consumers allege the company installed defective dashboards in its automobiles that melt when exposed to the sun over long periods of time. The lawsuits allege that the melting dashboards took on a glossy surface that limited driver visibility. The lawsuits also allege that, because the damage took place over time, the drivers were not made aware of the defect until after the warranty on their vehicles had already expired, leaving them to pay for Toyota’s mistake.
The most recent lawsuit against the car company was filed by Melissa Graham in South Carolina and includes model years 2007 through 2009 Camrys, as well as 2006 through 2008 Lexus IS and ES vehicles. Another lawsuit dealing with the same defect had already been filed in Florida, but that lawsuit deals only with the Lexus models.
In 2011, after the warranties on most of the vehicles had already expired, Toyota issued a technical service bulletin notifying customers that the 2006-2008 Lexus IS 250 and 350 “may exhibit sticky interior panels that have a shiny/degraded appearance”. However, Graham’s lawsuit alleges that the bulletin failed to acknowledge that the defect also exists in the Lexus ES and the 2007-2009 Toyota Camry models. The lawsuit further alleges that Toyota did not notify customers of the defective, despite the fact that it allegedly had knowledge of said defect.
To make matters worse, Toyota was allegedly able to come up with a way to fix its defective dashboards, but that instead of implementing the solution, it allegedly deliberately concealed the defect from consumers. Because the damage happened slowly over time, and did not become apparent until after the warranties on the vehicles had already expired, Toyota allegedly decided to save itself some money by letting its customers cover the costs of fixing or replacing the damaged dashboards.
According to the lawsuit, “Unbeknownst to consumers, Toyota, designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed and sold certain automobiles with defective dashboards that melt or degrade upon prolonged exposure to the sun. … Because the nature of this defect is that the degradation occurs over time, it was a hidden defect from consumers at the time of purchase.”
The lawsuit is seeking to represent all consumers in the state of South Carolina who purchased one of the Toyota models included in the lawsuit. The lawsuit is alleging that, by concealing the dashboard defect from its consumers, Toyota is guilty of breaching express and implied warranty. When purchasing a new car, consumers reasonably expect the vehicle to operate safely and to last them well beyond the warranty. It is understandable for anyone who pays the premium price for a new car to feel cheated when it turns out the maker of that car used cheap materials that break down after only a few years.
In addition to the two lawsuits, numerous complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the same issue of melting dashboards in certain Toyota vehicles.Our Chicago Law firm is investigating this matter and looking for Illinois Lexus or Toyota owners who claim to have suffered from this alleged problem.
Our Chicago autofraud and Lemon law attorneys near Carol Stream, Streamwood and Schaumburg bring individual and class actions suits for defective cars with common design defects and auto dealer fraud and other car dealer scams such as selling rebuilt wrecks as certified used cars or misrepresenting a car as being in good condition when it is rebuilt wreck or had the odometer rolled back. Super Lawyers has selected our DuPage, Kane and Cook County auto-fraud, car dealer fraud and lemon law lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. We only collect our fee if we win or settle your case. For a free consultation call our Chicago class action lawyers at our toll free number 630-333-0333 or contact us on the web by clicking here.