Washington Supreme Court Upholds Appeals Court Dismissal for Shook Client Toyota

The Washington Supreme Court upheld the Washington state appellate court’s ruling in Young v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. for Toyota, a case in which the plaintiff sued alleging Toyota deceived him when he bought a car that was advertised as having a rearview mirror with a temperature display, when in fact it had none. Realizing the error, Toyota updated its advertising and offered $100 in compensation to each customer who bought a truck without the $10 feature, however the plaintiff refused the offer and sued under Washington state’s consumer protection law. 

The Supreme Court stated that under the Washington Consumer Protection Act, a plaintiff must establish one of five elements, the first being “an unfair or deceptive act or practice,” and noted the plaintiff had not shown he was injured by any unfair or deceptive practices by Toyota, making his complaint not credible. The Supreme Court also rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the lower court incorrectly ruled that he had to show he relied on the misrepresentation regarding the temperature display to buy his vehicle. 

“The trial judge did not hold him to the reliance standard,” the Supreme Court noted. “Reliance was Young’s theory and he failed to prove it.”

Toyota was represented by Shook Partners Michael Mallow, Rachel Straus and Mark D. Campbell.

Law360 reported on the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in “Wash. High Court Won’t Revive Toyota Suit Over Mirror,” September 25, 2020.

The case is Young v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., No. 97576-1 (Supreme Court of Wash., September 24, 2020). The trial case is Young v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., No. 358532-9-III (Wash. App. Ct., May 23, 2019).