Plaintiffs across the United States brought a class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corporation over vehicles with defective engines that burn excessive amounts of oil.
Defective engines put drivers and passengers in immediate danger. The 2AZ-FE engines in the plaintiffs’ vehicles were predisposed to an extremely high rate of oil consumption. This oil consumption defect can cause engine failure in a moving vehicle at any time, regardless of the conditions.
Plaintiffs allege that Toyota breached Express Warranty, breached The Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, violated California’s Song-Beverly Act, Common Law Fraud, and violated several state-specific business and consumer protections.
Toyota Knew About Engine Defects
Toyota was aware of the design defect, but still manufactured and sold their vehicles without warning consumers. They also failed to warn drivers that the Oil Consumption Defect would lessen the resale value of their Toyotas and create serious safety issues.
Many Toyota owners with 2AZ-FE engines have requested that Toyota pay to have their vehicles fixed, but Toyota has refused. Often the defect occurs outside of the warranty period, so customers pay for repairs out of pocket.
Vehicles Diminish in Value
In June 2006, plaintiff April Lax of California purchased a brand new 2006 Toyota RAV4. In February 2013, Ms. Lax took her vehicle to a local service center for scheduled maintenance. Toyota told her told the “no engine oil” indicator was lit and that certain models of RAV4s consumed oil at an abnormal rate.
Toyota advised Law to purchase an extended warranty or purchase a new vehicle because the Oil Consumption Defect would increase in severity and lead to further engine damage. Ms. Lax switched to a heavier weight engine oil to reduce the oil consumption in her RAV4. However, her vehicle consumed oil at the same rate as before.
Ms. Lax closely followed Toyota’s recommended maintenance periods. The Oil Consumption Defect in her RAV4 has worsened over time as the engine consumes more engine oil the older it gets. Ms. Lax has paid for all repairs and has experienced diminished value of her vehicle.
Toyota Acknowledged Defect, Refused to Pay
In August 2011, Toyota issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) regarding the numerous complaints of excessive engine oil consumption. The TSB acknowledged that the vehicles experience abnormally excessive levels of oil consumption, and issued a repair.
The costly repair involves removing the engine from the vehicle and disassembling it. Vehicle owners have paid between $2,000 and $7,000 for the repair. The TSB was only released to authorized Toyota dealerships, never to the general public or current owners of the vehicles.
Due to Toyota’s deceptive business practices, vehicle owners suffered a significant loss of money and vehicle value. If consumers were aware of the Oil Consumption Defect, they likely would not have not purchased the vehicles, or may have paid much less for them.
We Have Experience with Auto Lawsuits
Morgan & Morgan’s attorneys have extensive experience with automobile mass litigation, including lawsuits over Continental airbags, GM ignition switches, and Volkswagen emissions fraud. We have won jury awards and settlements against automakers in the past, and our work in this area makes us uniquely qualified to handle large and complex class action cases.