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California sues Toyota for hiding defects

A California prosecutor has filed a civil lawsuit against Toyota, accusing the Japanese carmaker of intentionally hiding deadly defects from consumers.

"We intend to prove that Toyota ignored, omitted, obfuscated, and misrepresented the evidence that was amassing for many years regarding serious safety defects in their cars," said district attorney Tony Rackauckas on 12 March. He claimed the purpose of the suit is to protect the public from "unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices".

Toyota has already been hit with dozens of lawsuits from owners seeking compensation in the wake of a series of mass recalls due to defects that led to sudden, unintended acceleration.