Class Action Lawsuit Says Toyota Sold Defective Fuel Systems in New Highlander Models
According to a nationwide class action lawsuit, Toyota sold its Highlanders with model years 2020 to 2021 without indicating that the vehicles’ fuel systems were defective.
Cheryl Tavares, Paulo Tavares, and Charles Deffendall filed a class action lawsuit in a California federal court on Friday against Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Corporation, alleging violations of federal warranty law and state consumer laws.
According to the class action, the vehicles are equipped and promoted with 17.1-gallon fuel tanks and are capable of 36 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city, 35 MPG on the highway, and 36 MPG in mixed driving. This equates to around 615 miles of range on a single tank of gas.
On the other hand, the drivers claim that the vehicles are defective since the fuel tank cannot be filled to the specified capacity. This reduces the vehicles’ promised driving range, boosts pollutants, and raises the risk of spillage during filling, the suit alleges.
When users refuel, they claim that the automatic shut-off triggers considerably before the tank is full, typically after when only 12-14 gallons are added to an empty tank.
Gas Gushing Out
Consumers can force the tank to accept additional fuel by gradually adding gas after the automatic shut-off has been triggered. However, many have experienced gas gushing out of the vehicle well before the advertised capacity of 17.1 gallons has been reached.
The Fuel Tank Defect poses a safety risk to the plaintiffs, Class Members, and the general public because the fuel systems in Class Vehicles are not correctly vented. This results in increased emissions from the car, causing damage to the fuel system components due to increased internal pressure and the increasing risk of fuel gushing out of the vehicle during refueling, according to the class action.
Cheryl Tavares et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales
As per the class action, the defect has led to multiple complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and authorized dealers nationwide for affected vehicles that began selling in February 2020.
Despite disclosing the problem internally and to authorized dealers, Toyota continues to market and sell vehicles that promise 36 miles per gallon for city driving, the lawsuit claims.
The group is seeking to represent everyone in the United States who purchased or leased a Toyota Highlander equipped with a hybrid powertrain in the model years 2020 to 2021, as well as a California and Texas subclass.
At the same time, they are suing Toyota for breach of warranty, fraud, and violation of California and Texas consumer laws. They are seeking class certification, an order compelling voluntary recalls of the vehicles, monetary damages, attorney fees, and expenses, as well as a jury trial.
Editor’s Note on Toyota Highlander Fuel Tank Class Action Lawsuit 2021:
This article is written to inform you of the recent class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Corporation due to selling Toyota Highlanders without indicating the vehicles’ defective fuel systems.
Case Name & No.: Cheryl Tavares et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales, Case No. 3:21-cv-04534
Jurisdiction: Northern District of California; United States District Court
Products/Services: Toyota Highlanders 2020 to 2021
Allegations: Toyota sold new Highlanders models with defective fuel systems
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