Manufacturers that include EPA-mandated fuel economy figures in their advertising are exempt from deceptive-practice claims under Arkansas law, a federal judge has ruled in a case against Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
Chief Judge Jimm Hendren of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas said manufacturers are immune from such civil suits because the Federal Trade Commission requires them to use those EPA figures in their advertising.
As a result, Hendren dismissed a class-action complaint by Andrew and Lynda Godfrey, who had bought a new 2006 Prius. The Godfreys had sought damages, including punitive damages, on behalf of all Arkansas residents who had bought or leased a Prius since 2000, the year it went on the market.
There will be no appeal, said the Godfreys' lawyer, Bruce Mulkey, of Rogers, Ark.
Meanwhile, in Florida, a federal judge is considering Toyota's request to dismiss a similar lawsuit under that state's laws, said Columbia, S.C., lawyer Steven McKelvey, who represents Toyota in both cases.