FDUTPA Lawsuit Against Toyota Camry Continues To Move Forward
According to a report from CarComplaints.com, a Florida judge has allowed an FDUTPA lawsuit against Japanese-based vehicle manufacturer Toyota to move forward. A group of consumers allege that Toyota violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) by selling Camrys with defective HVAC systems. Here, our West Palm Beach deceptive & unfair trade practices attorneys discuss the lawsuit against the multinational automaker.
The FDUTPA Claim: Toyota Knew About HVAC Defect
The underlying matter at issue in this case is complex. It involves the sale of Toyota Camry models in the Southeastern United States between the years 2012 and 2017. Consumers allege that the automaker was aware of the fact that these vehicles had defective HVAC systems. The specific defect in question allegedly caused Camry vehicles to fill with dangerous, noxious fumes when the heat and/or air conditioning system was running.
In pursuing the class action FDUTPA claim and a corresponding civil RICO claim, the plaintiffs contend that Toyota conspired with the Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) to intentionally conceal the defect in order to protect its profits and its brand. That the company allegedly has knowledge of the defect is an important aspect of the case. For its part, Toyota has consistently denied the allegations of misconduct raised in this case. Though, the company has acknowledged some of the problems related to its Camry model.
FDUTPA Claim Can Move Forward: Summary Judgment Denied
After the deceptive and unfair trade practices claim was filed, Toyota moved for summary judgment. In effect, summary judgment is a motion to ask the court to make a ruling on the matter without a full trial. Defendants in FDUTPA claims—and many other legal cases—often seek summary judgment in the early stages of a claim. If the plaintiffs fail to allege facts sufficient to prove a violation, a state or federal court could rule in favor of a defendant on summary judgment, thereby eliminating the need for a full trial.
As the court has dismissed Toyota’s motion for summary judgment, it has allowed the plaintiffs’ FDUTPA claim to move forward. Among other things, this means that the court believes that the plaintiffs have reasonable care. While no ruling has been made on the merits, the court has determined that the plaintiffs have pleaded sufficient facts to justify a more comprehensive inquiry into the matter, including a full trial. It is no guarantee of success, but surviving summary judgment is generally considered to be a positive sign for plaintiffs in an FDUTPA claim.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a South Florida FDUTPA Lawyer
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach commercial litigation lawyers have deep experience handling complex FDUTPA claims. You deserve personalized legal guidance and support from an attorney who knows how to protect your rights. To learn more about your legal rights or legal options, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We handle deceptive and unfair commercial practices claims in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and beyond.