Toyota Allegedly Conspired To Keep Canadian Exports Out Of US — Get A Piece Of The Class Action

If you bought or leased a new car in the Toyota family from Jan 1, 2001 to April 30, 2003, you could get some cash in a new class action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy between Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and the Canadian Automobile Dealer’s Association (CADA) to keep Canadian car exports out of the states and raise prices for American consumers.

The two groups admit no wrongdoing but have agreed to settle. Toyota will pay $35 million and CADA $700,000.

You’re eligible if you bought or leased a new Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mercury, Mini, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Toyota, Volkswagen, or Volvo in AZ, AR, CA, ID, KS, ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, SD, TN, VT or WI.

That’s it. All you had to have done to be eligible is bought or leased one of those new cars in one of those states between Jan ’01 and April ’03.

To participate and get a piece of the pie, you must submit a claim at canadianexportantitrust.com. The deadline is this Feb 1, so act soon.

Class Action Site [Canadian Export Antitrust]

Comments

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  1. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    So, the people who bought cars during that time frame get a coupon for $5 off a new car, and the lawyers get millions. That sound fair enough.

    • Scuba Steve says:

      Hey, man, its better than nothing! And lawyers had to work hard for that money, while you did NOTHING.

      Except, of course, that no, its not better than nothing. Its exactly the same as nothing. And while people might not have to do anything to collect, they did in fact, have to get overcharged so that they fall into the target group.

      In short, Yes, the lawyers win. Thats apparently how the system works.

    • Marlin says:

      Looks like it might be up to $750 for each car/truck.

    • ohiomensch says:

      Actually the CADA and Toyota win, if people dont file claims, dont they get to keep the unclaimed funds??

      • Garbanzo says:

        No. The money is split between whatever people do file a claim. If only one person files a claim, that lucky soul will get millions.

        In the event that so many people file claims that everyone’s payout is less than $5, then the money will go to charity.

        Toyota does not get to keep any of the money.

    • common_sense84 says:

      As always with junk like this screw the paltry payment. Just do what is necessary to opt out of the ruling. Then in a year if you injure yourself and cannot work, you can call up a lawyer and piggy back this lawsuit to get paid.

  2. Darrone says:

    35 million divided by the numbers of people that bought a car in those time periods in those states? That’s like a dollar per person.

  3. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    In principle I don’t see that they did anything wrong. First, Toyota licenses both US and Canadian car dealers to sell Toyotas. Their Canadian dealers were taking advantage of the US/Canada price difference to sell cars in the USA and compete with the US dealers. Second, US & Canadian cars are not the same – different warranties and meet different gov’t regulations. The most obvious is km on the speedometer. There’s much paperwork importing a new car to the US and they aren’t easy to resell.

    • JonBoy470 says:

      Actually, Canada’s safety and emissions regulations are largely harmonized with US regulations. The big differences are km vs. miles in the gauge cluster, and daytime running lights being mandatory in Canada but optional in the US. For most cars, swapping out the gauge cluster is the only change necessary to render it “legal” in the US.

    • bite back says:

      We are taught that the ‘free market’ benefits the economy by having competition leading to better products at lower prices. Here, we see large players manipulating the market behind the scenes to restrict competition and cheat the consumer.

      Now, if we had a anti-trust oriented Justice Dept. instead of one captured by corporate interests, then the affected consumers would have been better protected than by trial lawyers targeting deep-pocketed robber barons.

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        I saw it more a licensing issue. Toyota licences Canadian dealers to sell cars in Canada and licences US dealers to sell cars in the US. Many companies have territory or geographic licensing agreements.

    • shepd says:

      The difference between US and Canada regulations on most all cars are:

      – Daytime Running Lights are required on Canadian cars
      – Different spedo stickers (as you mentioned), yes, you can use a sticker if you’re cheap. Or, they will authorize it and ask you to use a sticker (My cubemate didn’t want to stick it on, I guess, because he’s Canadianized his CR-V and it is still in miles).
      – New Canadian cars must have an engine immobilizer (ie: Electronic Keyfob)
      – Change stickers on LATCH child restrains to say CANFIX.
      – French stickers for airbag warnings

      Literally, that’s it. On modern vehicles, this costs about $200 for government fees, and about another $200 for the DRL kit.

      http://www.riv.ca/ModificationAndInspectionRequirements.aspx

      None of those are safety issues. If you really think DRL provides safety, you can turn on your headlights the hard way. I suppose American cars might be easier to steal. And really stupid short French people might get hurt.

  4. scoosdad says:

    OK I’m confused.. first sentence says, “If you bought or leased a new car in the Toyota family from Jan 1, 2001 to April 30, 2003, you could get some cash in a new class action lawsuit.”

    Then the list of eligible vehicles includes just about every other brand including Toyota and Lexus.

  5. Cat_In_A_Hat says:

    What. No Scion! Boo!

  6. Echomatrix says:

    as usual, they make more than they will pay out… If the Fed quadrupled all fines people would stop this..

  7. judyz says:

    How does this make sense? The people who were apparently wronged will get about enough to cover the postage for sending their claim in. A bunch of lawyers make a fortune. The companies settle and pay the lawyers off because even if they don’t have much of a case it is cheaper to settle and avoid too much bad press. But nothing has really changed.

    For as long as I can remember it has been cheaper to buy most vehicles in the US than Canada even with exchange. However ALL of the American dealers in the border states have rules from above instructing them not to sell to Canadians. If you do manage to buy something you have to have it modified for use in Canada (different regulations). Then you have to pay taxes at the border. In addition local dealerships will try not to honour your warranty. You can guarantee that anything questionable will not be covered. Also warranties are different and even the companies themselves are different divisions. It seems like it is easier to import guns from the US than it is Cars.

  8. Magspie says:

    What’s the significance of those states? I bought a VW in 2002, but not in one of those states.

  9. Big Dave says:

    Yes, and the anticipated payout is less than $5 per, in which case, no claimant will be paid. Of course, as usual, the lawyers will clean up. Is there any lower profession than lawyering?

    Lawyer=whore

    No. that’s not right … whores are honest about what they’re selling.

    • scoosdad says:

      Q: what’s 100 dead lawyers on the bottom of the ocean?

      A: a good start

      (disclaimer– my brother is an attorney and he told me that one)

  10. stevied says:

    Farking lawyers.

  11. JANSCHOLL says:

    As part of my husband’s job, we had to buy a car every year or every other year, depending on the whim of the company. During that time I bought 4 cars, one for my daughter. I don’t remember the dates of purchase, only the year and the model. Either way, none of them are owned by us anymore, and it makes me angry that the dealerships did not notify us of this as they know about this for fleet and leases. Maybe for a reason, as they will get more when the owners don’t file.

  12. r586 says:

    This hardly seems like it should be legal, If I had not seen this site I would have lost all rights to ever make a claim for this, just amazing,

  13. GriffonJames says:

    I bought my Accord during that time frame. There was a big difference in prices, and it wasn’t just the exchange rate. Canadian Toyotas were just plain less expensive. So, I went to Canada and bought it there. Called dealerships first, found the car I wanted and negotiated a price before going up. Drove back through Niagara Falls, one of several locations that can process the paperwork to import the vehicle. Had to drive through a commercial entry lane and go to a US Customs office at the border. Then went to a garage in Niagara Falls that was licensed to verify that the car met US emissions standards. Didn’t have to pay most of the Canadian taxes, since I didn’t register it there. Had to pay MA tax when I registered it here, just as I would have done if I bought it in MA. Saved about $2700, and the paperwork and inspection were easy. But, as I had been told, the US dealerships would not honor the warranty. Made a one day-trip up and back to Canada once when I needed some major warranty service. They fixed it, no questions asked. Never had to worry about resale value, because the car got totaled when I was rear-ended three years later. Everything was legal, just discouraged by Toyota, because they were trying to make big profits off of the “rich Americans.”