Jury Returns Complete Defense Verdict for Toyota
On March 10, 2023, a Florida federal jury found in favor of Toyota Motor Corporation (“Toyota”) in a case involving an alleged air conditioning system defect in Toyota vehicles. The alleged defect relates to foul odors emitted by the air conditioning system in Toyota’s 2012-14 Camry vehicles sold in the United States. A class of Florida consumers (“Plaintiffs”) alleged the defect was not disclosed to them, and as a result, they overpaid for their vehicles by 25%. A class was certified in 2021, leading to a trial in which Plaintiffs originally sought billions in damages.
Compass Lexecon affiliate, Professor Peter E. Rossi, submitted a rebuttal report and testified at trial and in deposition that plaintiffs’ proposed damages methodologies, which were based on conjoint analysis, could not be used to reliably calculate market value because they did not account for supply-side factors. Plaintiffs’ damages experts contended that a supply analysis was not required to compute damages based on a reduction in market value.
Professor Rossi further testified that plaintiffs’ damages methodologies could only be used to determine what consumers would be willing to pay, which does not incorporate competitor pricing decisions and Toyota’s willingness to sell, which are factors in market value. The ten-person jury found Toyota not liable for damages.