LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – Toyota is facing a lawsuit over claims that their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems poses a threat to consumer health.
Plaintiffs Alfred Salas and Gloria Ortega, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit on Nov. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., citing violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, unfair competition law, breach of implied warranty, and unjust enrichment.
The plaintiffs argue that a uniform and widespread defect in the HVAC system of an entire class of automobiles, specifically the Toyota Camry XV50, poses an unreasonable health risk to the driver and passengers of the vehicle. They assert that the HVAC system contains one or more design and/or manufacturing defects that cause, among other problems, emissions of noxious and foul odors from debris and contamination in the HVAC system as well as possible growth of mold.
Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that the contamination emanating from the HVAC system grows on a component called the evaporator, located inside the vehicle’s dashboard. As the cold refrigerant passes into the evaporator, it absorbs heat from the air in the passenger compartment and also collects moisture because of condensation on the evaporator’s surface. This moisture, along with pollen, dead insects in the air, and bits of leaves that enter the HVAC system from the outside vents, leads to an environment favorable to the growth of mold and other contaminants. The plaintiffs claim that Toyota was well aware of this defect but failed to properly convey this to consumers.
The plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury and relief in the form of an award to plaintiffs and the class for compensatory, exemplary and statutory damages, including interest; a declaration that defendants must disgorge, for the benefit of the class, all or part of the ill-gotten profits they received from the sale or lease of their class vehicles, or make full restitution to plaintiffs and class members; pre- and post-judgment interests; litigation costs; and any other rewards deemed just by the court. They are represented by attorneys Jordan L. Lurie, Robert Friedl, Tarek H. Zohdy, Cody R. Padgett from Capstone Law APC in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Court, California Central District court case number 2:15-cv-08629-FMO-E