Class action filed against Toyota for back dash defect

MARSHALL-The owner of a 2005 Toyota Camry has filed a class action against the car manufacturer after she discovered her rear dash had disintegrated and ruined her car audio speakers. Cathy A. Summers filed the class action against Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Motor North America, Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America and Toyota Motor Sales USA on July 7 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Summers noticed depressions in the speaker covers on the "rear package tray" in which the material had disintegrated and collapsed on top of the car speakers, ruining them. Summers states she received an estimate to replace the defective parts at approximately $500. She states that she spoke to the dealership about the issue in August 2008 and discovered that Toyota had issued a technical service bulletin in December 2007 advising and instructing dealers on how to repair the defect. Summers states that if she would have been notified about the issue when the technical service bulletin was issued, the rear sundeck would have been covered under her express warranty. "It was obvious to Summers that the Toyota dealership did not want to undertake these repairs either on account of the fact of her express warranty had expired and/or the tsunami of warranty claims that dealers were encountering at the time involving alleged defective accelerators and sudden acceleration problems," the lawsuit states. The lawsuit estimates that anywhere from 1.7 million to 2.2 million vehicles are subject to the defect in the rear sundeck. Causes of action filed against the defendants include breach of express and implied warranty under Magnuson-Moss, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, breach of warranty of fitness for particular purpose, fraudulent concealment and misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and negligence. On behalf of the proposed class, Summers is seeking more than $5 million in compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, interest and court costs. The proposed class will be represented by attorney Charles W. Nichols of Palestine. Jury trial requested. U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case. Case No. 2:10cv00227

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