A total of 22.6 million current and former Toyota owners have been sent notices that they may be eligible to receive compensation from the automaker for damages related to the unintended acceleration fiasco that has dominated headlines in 2009 and 2010. The total payout may be as high as $1.63 billion, according to The Detroit News.

Steve Berman, a lawyer for the owners, calls the potential deal "a landmark, if not a record, settlement in automobile defects class action litigation in the United States." Still, there's some debate about whether or not Toyota's proposed settlement is fair, as it includes $30 million for safety research and driver education programs – in other words, Toyota seems to be suggesting that drivers need more education on how to drive their correctly working and fully functional vehicles. For those keeping track, Toyota would also be paying lawyer fees of $200 million.

A US District Judge in California is scheduled to hold a so-called "fairness hearing" on June 14 that could decide the fate of this particular settlement. Further courtroom wrangling will be required to hash out any wrongful death suits levied against Toyota stemming from unintended acceleration claims, as those are not part of this class-action suit.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      " in other words, Toyota seems to be suggesting that drivers need more education on how to drive their correctly working and fully functional vehicles." It's a Bingo!! You all should look up "Akio Toyoda on Letterman". Hilarious.
      joe shmoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sometimes lawyers are just like sharks.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is reduculous! A couple of owners mistaked breaks for gas and a company has to shel out over $1B for their stupidity?? Breaks and even Ebreak have enough force to overpower the engine, or how about putting the car into Neutral??? Common sense! You shouldn't be on the road if you can't think rationally enough to perform these steps!! The only person cashing in on this will be the lawyers.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I dive a toyota and I will refuse to take any payment offered. This is such bullshit and the judge should have thrown out the case.
        • 2 Years Ago
        That's foolish. The money is set aside for the entire class. If you opt out, that just means everyone else gets a bigger share of the total amount. Opting out doesn't mean that Toyota will pay less. Your heart's in the right place though!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Remember the video of the lady crashing her Highlander into the house twice and blaming the car, enough said. Time for judges to start getting wise.
      Thom Blank
      • 2 Years Ago
      So this means the owners would get like $70 bucks and a few lawyers would get $200 million, thats just sad, your a fool to even get involved in a class action and let a bunch of lawyers reap all the rewards.
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where\'s the beef? Still no answer. * Stuck pedals? The Nitsa report says it received one complaint, that\'s one as in the numeral 1, that the agency believes \"involves this condition.\" So that\'s a red herring. * Electronics? Nothing doing. * Floor mats? The MISUSE of mats caused five deaths in two crashes since 2000, including four in the Lexus \"911\" crash. To boot, there was no \"rash of complaints\" until hype surrounding the \"911\" crash and the irrelevant pedal recall invited people to connect the two. The Nitsa/NASA reports specifically track the hype effect and prove the tail wagged the dog. So besides a field day for US lawyers (other nations shrugged off this whole thing as with other auto-safety scares), where\'s the beef?
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a ripoff and kaching kaching for the tort lawyers!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Apparently only Toyota owners have unintended acceleration problems and don't know how to drive...or at least this is what Toyota seems to be suggesting.
        • 2 Years Ago
        As soon as ANY studies come out showing that there were ANY defects in their cars causing this mysterious UA, it would appear that MORE money needs to be set aside from the bogus settlement to provide "driver education." Left foot, stop. Right foot, go. Pay me.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is what happens when you market your cars to people who can\'t drive.
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