Tuesday, January 27, 2015


"Toyota Motor Corp. is in settlement talks with a former translator and self-described whistleblower who was sanctioned last month for posting on a blog internal documents related to its sudden acceleration defects.
In a court filing on Thursday, Toyota attorney Lisa Gilford and a lawyer for the translator, Betsy Benjaminson, said they “are actively negotiating a potential resolution to their differences regarding the documents.” They sought more time to file a proposed plan by Feb. 11 on how to destroy the documents.
A settlement, if finalized, would end the latest chapter over Toyota’s sudden acceleration issues, which resulted in recalls of more than 10 million vehicles worldwide and billions of dollars in settlements with government agencies and consumers. Toyota raised concerns about Benjaminson last year after she posted thousands of its internal documents online.
Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin declined to discuss any settlement negotiations. He wrote in an email, “We believe all of the documents obtained by Ms. Benjaminson through her work on Toyota-related matters are protected, and we are exploring our options to secure the return or destruction of these confidential materials.”
Benjamin’s attorney, Karren Kenney, a criminal defense attorney in Costa Mesa, Calif., said her client is “committed to continue with the negotiations in hopes of reaching a settlement.”
She added: “At this point, given all of the issues involved, I'm not sure if a settlement will be reached that would satisfy both sides.”