New IIHS Tests Spur Class Action Lawsuit Against Prius

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Toyota’s Prius hybrid is the target of a new class action lawsuit alleging that the automaker misrepresented its pre-collision warning system in the Prius V.

Late last month, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) announced a new test that evaluates collision avoidance systems and the Prius V failed to get a rating at all. Even with mediocre crash mitigation technology, most of the systems managed the minimum rating. Now, California-based law firm McCuneWright has filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against Toyota.

“The Toyota Prius V wagon, which claims to have autobrake, had minimal braking in IIHS tests and currently fails to meet NHTSA criteria for forward collision warning. It doesn’t qualify for an IIHS front crash prevention rating,” the IIHS said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: New IIHS Test Rates Frontal Crash Prevention

Customers who buy the high-end Prius “Five” are offered an “advanced technology package” that costs an extra $5,650. The law firm said it estimates $1,000 of that goes toward the vehicle’s radar-based pre-collision warning system and the suit is seeking customer reimbursement for the system and for Toyota to stop advertising that the pre-collision system offers autobraking.

But shortly after the results were released, Toyota disputed claims that the Prius V has auto braking and that it advertised it as such.

This isn’t the first time McCuneWright and Toyota will have faced off in court, either. In 2009, the firm was first to launch a class action suit over the sudden unintended acceleration scandal that ended in a $1.6 billion settlement earlier this year.

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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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