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Toyota to pay $3.4bn over corrosion in 1.5 million U.S. trucks and SUVs

Staff Writer |
Toyota Motor has agreed to pay up to about $3.4 billion to settle claims that certain of its trucks and sport-utility vehicles lacked proper rust protection, leading to premature corrosion of vehicle frames.

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The deal, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles this week, settles litigation in two states over problems with Toyota Tacoma trucks from model years 2005 to 2010, Tundras from 2007 to 2008 and Sequoias from 2005 to 2008.

Around 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. are covered by the settlement, court filings show.

The agreement represents a significant settlement for the auto industry and follows several costly agreements auto makers have forged in recent years to address quality, safety or emissions issues in vehicles.

General Motors Co. recalled millions of vehicles in 2014 and spent billions of dollars to address ignition-switch problems linked to 124 deaths; Volkswagen AG forged a $14.7 billion deal more recently to settle with U.S. drivers of diesel-powered cars affected by an emissions-cheating scheme.

Several auto makers, including Toyota, continue to work with Takata Corp. to repair tens of millions of air bags in the largest automotive safety campaign in history.

"We want our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrates that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles," Toyota said.

The settlement was reported by The Detroit News. Toyota and plaintiffs' lawyers said the deal, which is still subject to court approval, reflects months of negotiation. As part of the agreement, Toyota doesn't admit to any wrongdoing.