The lawsuit that is the subject of the proposed settlement alleges that several large automakers conspired with each other to prevent closely similar, but less expensive, new vehicles sold in Canada from being exported to the United States. The lawsuit further alleges that by conspiring to prevent this cheaper supply of cars and trucks from entering the U.S. market, the automakers kept prices of new cars in California higher than they should have been. The lawsuit seeks compensation from Ford Canada under California antitrust law.
This lawsuit began in Spring 2003, over 19 years ago. This case is pending in the California Superior Court for the County of San Francisco before the Honorable Anne-Christine Massullo (“Court”) and is called Automobile Antitrust Cases I and II, case numbers JCCP 4298 and 4303. Ford Canada is the last remaining defendant in this case. If the settlement with Ford Canada is approved, Ford Canada will be dismissed from the case and the lawsuit will be over.
The parties agreed to settle this case just three weeks prior to the start of trial, after nearly 19 years of litigation. During the litigation, the parties engaged in extensive discovery of evidence, including completing over 100 depositions and reviewing millions of pages of documents. The parties also litigated multiple rounds of summary judgment motions and several appeals.
There were three prior settlements in this case and related cases. Two defendants, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and the Canadian Automobile Dealers’ Association (“CADA”), entered settlement agreements and agreed to pay a combined $35.7 million to settle the claims against them. Defendant General Motors of Canada, Ltd., entered a settlement agreement and agreed to pay $20.15 million to settle the claims against it. These settlements were approved by the appropriate courts and the settlement money was distributed to authorized claimants. If you filed a claim in one of these prior settlements, you may be eligible to file a claim for a share of the Ford Canada settlement as well. See “Who Is Included in this Settlement” below for more information.