Toyota Recall Litigation – District Judge Refuses to Dismiss Economic Loss Lawsuit

On Friday, November 19, U.S. District Judge James Selna issued a 63-page opinion, which temporarily refused to dismiss one of the class-action lawsuits brought by purchasers of Toyota vehicles. In that class action, plaintiffs’ have sued Toyota for the diminished market value of their vehicles in light of the defects in those vehicles.

Toyota claimed that plaintiffs had not properly alleged that they actually suffered any economic damage as a result of the recall. But this was false. As the court pointed out, various class action plaintiffs had already experienced losses. For example:

“Plaintiff Richard Benjamin alleges that he ‘has seen the trade-in value [of his 2007 Toyota Sienna] drop $2,000 since the recalls’ were made public.”


“Plaintiff Brandon Bowron ‘sold his Lexus on July 7, 2010,’ and alleges he ‘received less value for the car due to the SUA defect.'”

While it is true that with few exceptions, the plaintiffs did “not generally allege the precise dollar value of their losses,” Judge Selna found that “that level of specificity is not required at the pleading stage. It is enough that they allege a tangible loss that can be proved or disproved upon discovery.”

A final ruling on Toyota’s motion to dismiss is expected in a week.