More than 20,000 consumers in the District, Virginia and Maryland will be receiving $135 checks this week as the result of the final settlement of a price-fixing suit against Mid-Atlantic Toyota Distributors Inc. and Toyota dealers in the region, a Maryland official said today.
"The checks, literally, are in the mail," said Maryland Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs in announcing the finalization of a four-year-old suit brought by his office.
All told, about 34,000 consumers in the three jurisdictions, Delaware and Pennsylvania will receive checks worth $4.7 million in cash and more if they opt to receive goods and services from Toyota dealers rather than cash.
The suit alleged that the Toyota distributor and dealers in the region artificially inflated the prices of 1980 Toyotas and then offered customers discounts worth $135 on protective packages including rustproofing and undercoating.
Affected customers, including 10,000 in Maryland, 9,600 in Virginia and 900 in the District, can cash their checks at local Toyota dealers, or use them to purchase $250 in goods or services, including tune-ups and some parts. The checks can also be applied toward the purchase of new or used autos. Checks must be redeemed at the dealership where the customer bought his 1980 Toyota.
The suit was initially settled in July, and made final late last month by a federal judge in Baltimore.