At least 66,000 Tennesseans were alerted by Toyota that there may be sudden acceleration problems with their vehicles, the Channel 4 I-Team has learned.
It is the first time we have learned how widespread the problem was in the state.
When the Channel 4 I-Team first exposed sudden acceleration problems in a Toyota vehicle in 2007, we found 20 people in Tennessee and across the country complaining their vehicles were taking off without warning.
Two years after we exposed the problems in Toyota Tacoma vehicles, Toyota issued a massive recall.
The state attorney general's office confirms that 66,000 people were given notice to have their cars repaired for either floor mat problems or sticking pedals.
All Toyota drivers in Tennessee who were impacted by the sudden acceleration problems may be eligible for a portion of a $700,000 pool of money from a settlement between Toyota and the state attorney general's office.
"This is a supplemental program for out of pocket expenses that people may have had, whether it was towing fees to get their car to their dealership or rental car expenses," said Jennifer Peacock, senior counsel for the Tennessee attorney general.
The settlement agreement also slammed Toyota for failing to notify Tennesseans and others across the country for not reporting the defects quickly enough.
"We found evidence that Toyota knew about some of these issues with the sticky pedals and the sudden acceleration and they were still making these advertising claims that their cards were safer and safest," Peacock said.
With the settlement, Toyota must now alert all Tennesseans in writing if they are purchasing a vehicle that received repairs from sudden acceleration problems.
"Toyota has to make better disclosures to consumers who are looking to purchase these cars," Peacock said.
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Thursday, February 14 2013 7:22 PM EST2013-02-15 00:22:34 GMT
Anyone who has a complaint with Toyota is encouraged to file the complaint online by visiting the TDCI Consumer Affairs Division at http://www.tn.gov/consumer, or by calling (800) 342-8385 (toll-free
Anyone who has a complaint with Toyota is encouraged to file the complaint online by visiting the TDCI Consumer Affairs Division at http://www.tn.gov/consumer, or by calling (800) 342-8385 (toll-free in Tennessee) or (615) 741-4737.
Consumers may also contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.More >
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