Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Article excerpt

T-U LOOKS FOR THOUGHTS FROM TOYOTA OWNERS

Toyota owners: Have the recent recalls and other news about Toyota substantially changed your loyalty to the Toyota brand?

If you were to buy a new car today, would you consider buying a Toyota? Why or why not?

In your opinion, is Toyota significantly more lax in consumer safety than other car companies?

Please e-mail responses to: justin.pugh@jacksonville.com.

The Times-Union

CLASS-ACTION SUITS COULD COST TOYOTA $3B-PLUS

Toyota owners claiming that massive safety recalls are causing the value of their vehicles to plummet have filed at least 89 class-action lawsuits that could cost the Japanese auto giant $3 billion or more, according to an Associated Press review of cases, legal precedent and interviews with experts.

Those estimates do not include potential payouts for wrongful death and injury lawsuits, which could reach in the tens of millions each. Still, the sheer volume of cases involving U.S. Toyota owners claiming lost value - 6 million or more - could prove far more costly, adding up to losses in the billions for the automaker.

Toyota owners suing the company contend their vehicles have dropped in value because of the recalls and that Toyota knew all along about safety problems but concealed them from buyers. They point to evidence such as Kelley Blue Book's decision this month to lower the resale value of recalled Toyotas an average of 3.5 percent, ranging from $300 less for a Corolla to $750 less for a Sequoia.

Associated Press

JOB OPENINGS UP SHARPLY IN JANUARY TO 2.7 MILLION

Job openings rose sharply earlier this year, a sign that employers might be preparing to step up hiring.

The number of openings in January rose about 7.6 percent, to 2.7 million, compared with December, the Labor Department said. And the job openings rate climbed to 2.1 percent, the highest in nearly a year. That rate measures available jobs as a percentage of total employment.

There are now about 5.5 unemployed people, on average, competing for each opening. That's still far more than the 1.7 people who were competing for each opening when the recession began. …

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