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Toyota Settles With States for $29 Million

CHICAGO (CN) - Toyota will pay $29 million to 29 states to settle allegations that it failed to warn motorists about problems with unexpected acceleration.

Twenty-nine attorneys general around the country filed settled complaints claiming Toyota knew about the defects, but failed to warn the public.

Toyota at first tried to blame the problem on floor mats. Investigations never really pinned down the problem, which apparently stemmed from multiple causes.

Some defect caused millions of vehicles, including Camrys, Corollas and Priuses, to unintentionally accelerate, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement. Illinois will get nearly $1 million of the $29 million settlement.

While most vehicles covered in the recall have been repaired, Toyota agreed to provide additional restitution for customers who incurred related costs. The settlement bars Toyota from advertising the safety of its vehicles without sound engineering data to back up the claims.

The settlement prohibits Toyota from reselling a vehicle it reacquired with alleged safety defects without informing the purchaser about the alleged defects and certifying that the reacquired vehicle has been fixed;

from misrepresenting the purpose of an inspection or repair when directing consumers to bring their vehicles to a dealer for inspection or repair;

and it requires Toyota to exclude from the "Toyota Certified Used Vehicles" or "Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles" categories any vehicle acquired through lemon law proceedings or voluntarily repurchased by Toyota to ensure customer satisfaction.

Joining Illinois in the settlement were Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

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