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U.S. Consumers Sue Kobe, Toyota for Below-Grade Steel


#legal #Lexus #Toyota

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A U.S. lawsuit claims Kobe Steel Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp. committed fraud by concealing the use of substandard steel in Toyota vehicles.

The proposed class-action complaint, filed in San Francisco, is the first in the U.S. The lawsuit claims that Toyota used substandard aluminum, copper and steel parts in its Prius hybrids, Camry midsize sedans, Land Cruiser SUVs and Lexus luxury vehicles.

The filing follows Kobe’s admission last autumn that it falsified quality and performance tests for decades for metal products it supplied to more than 500 companies worldwide. The scandal prompted Kobe CEO Hiroya Kawasaki to resign on Tuesday.

The U.S. Dept. of Justice asked Toyota and 28 other carmakers in October to report any safety issues associated with the Kobe metals. Reports at the time speculated that the department might be trying to determine whether Kobe is guilty of fraud. The results of that request haven’t been made public.

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