Automotive US

US Class Action Against Bioplastics Car Parts Dismissed

A class action against Toyota was filled in 2016 for using soy-based bioplastics car parts.

A Los Angeles lawsuit blamed Toyota Motor Sales USA that using soy-based bioplastics made them more attractive and vulnerable to rodents. The plaintiffs were asking compensation for the damage caused by the rodents chewing through the bioplastics insulation of the engine wiring.

Attorney Brian Kabateck represented Albert Heber who claimed his Toyota Tundra wiring were chewed through by rodents three times. 21 other plaintiffs made similar claims and argued that the damage should be covered by the warranty.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford dismissed the lawsuit against Toyota Motor Sales USA. The reason being that the plaintiffs failed to provide “the appropriate level of specificity” with these claims. The rodents chewed also through non soy-based plastics parts, so the soy-bean bioplastics could not be blamed.

US District Judge Andrew Guilford stated:

“Plaintiffs’ complaint includes several consumer complaints from several different Toyota owners alleging rodent damage to several different parts of their vehicles. And this damage wasn’t always connected to soy-based parts. Considering this considerable variance, it isn’t clear that Toyota could have specifically articulated any increased ‘risk’ to any particular part of plaintiffs’ vehicles because of the soy-coated wiring.”

A Toyota Spokesperson made the following Statement:

“We are gratified that, after repeated failures to allege facts that would make their defect theory plausible, the court dismissed plaintiffs’ meritless claims without leave to amend.”