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Toyota Hands-Free Phone System Has Voice Echo Class Action

This class action brings suit against a group of Toyota companies (Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.) for its hands-free phone system. The complaint alleges that the system is defective because people on the other end of calls hear an echo of their own words.

The class for this action is all persons who live in Florida who, within the applicable period of limitations up to the date the class is certified in this action, bought or leased a class vehicle. The class vehicles include the following Toyota models, when they (a) include a Bluetooth hands-free system, (b) were not initially equipped with Apple CarPlay, and (c) have not had a head unit replaced at Toyota’s expense:

  • 4Runner
  • Avalon
  • Avalon HV
  • Camry (excluding the 2018 Camry)
  • Camry HV (excluding the 2018 Camry HV)
  • Corolla
  • Highlander
  • Highlander HV
  • Mirai
  • Prius
  • Prius C
  • Prius Prime
  • Prius V
  • RAV4
  • RAV4 HV
  • Sequoia
  • Sienna
  • Tacoma
  • Tundra
  • Yaris

Drivers are supposed to use the hands-free system to make or receive calls in their cars. The complaint quotes a 2019 webpage that advertised the hands-free system, saying, “Taking your eyes off the road to dial is never a good decision. With hands-free calling in your car you can say the number or the contact name that you want to connect with.”

But the complaint alleges that people on the other end of the line hear an echo of their own words. This happens whether the driver or the other person placed the call, and whether the person on the other end is using a cell phone, a landline, or another hands-free phone system.

The complaint alleges, “The Echo Defect makes phone conversations impossible to maintain,” which means that their vehicles have “virtually unusable hands-free phone systems.”

What causes this problem? The complaint claims it’s “a defect in the ‘head unit’ hardware and/or software manufactured by Toyota and placed in every Class Vehicle.”

Toyota has known about this defect since at least 2007, the complaint claims. The Owner’s Manual for the 2008 Toyota Highlander mentioned it more than once, the complaint claims. For example, the complaint quotes it as saying, “Keep the volume of the receiving voice down. Otherwise, voice echo will increase.” According to the complaint, this is telling, because it does not say “voice echo will occur” but “voice echo will increase”—an admission, the complaint claims that the echo is inherent in the system.

The complaint alleges that Toyota also knew of the problems from online posting and customer complaints and that it put out Technical Service Bulletins and “Tech Tips” on the problem. While a 2018 replacement program for Toyota Camrys appears to have worked, Toyota did not extend it to other models of vehicles. It also did not warn potential customers of the problem.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Toyota Hands-Free Phone System Has Voice Echo Complaint

August 13, 2021

This class action brings suit against a group of Toyota companies (Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.) for its hands-free phone system. The complaint alleges that the system is defective because people on the other end of calls hear an echo of their own words.

Toyota Hands-Free Phone System Has Voice Echo Complaint

Case Event History

Toyota Hands-Free Phone System Has Voice Echo Complaint

August 13, 2021

This class action brings suit against a group of Toyota companies (Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.) for its hands-free phone system. The complaint alleges that the system is defective because people on the other end of calls hear an echo of their own words.

Toyota Hands-Free Phone System Has Voice Echo Complaint
Tags: Defective Automobile, Telephone System