Four different California lawsuits against Toyota have been transferred to Florida to join the ongoing product liability cases there related to defects in Takata airbags installed in Toyota vehicles. The four California plaintiffs did not want to join the Florida case as they wanted to make their arguments separately. However, a federal court panel said that the cases involved similar facts and problems and assigned them to the multi-district litigation currently consolidated before one federal judge in South Florida.
Multi-district litigation is used to speed up complex federal cases and is usually used in mass product liability suits, when many people across the country are affected, or in litigation following an airline disaster with hundreds of victims involved. All of the cases address product liability issues related to the use of Takata airbags. The defective safety equipment could explode and eject metal debris, potentially causing serious injuries or fatalities. Toyota has also involved Takata itself in the case after it was sued over the company's airbags installed in its vehicles. However, the plaintiffs are also focusing on the auto manufacturer's handling of their warranty requests to fix the airbag problems.
For example, one of the California cases argues that Toyota violated consumer protection laws by refusing to repair his 2011 Sienna or repurchase it after the airbag defects became clear. Of course, defective airbags are far from the only problem that consumers may have with their autos under warranty. The California Lemon Law protects consumers' rights to seek a repurchase or repair of their defective vehicles.
People who have purchased a vehicle under warranty expect that they will enjoy a smooth ride and a positive experience. However, far too many consumers encounter persistent defects and car manufacturer resistance to a solution. A California Lemon Law attorney may help people stand up for their rights as consumers and work to receive the compensation they deserve.