Dealer says he created Autovation recall software to help consumers, but Toyota shut it down.

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Dealer says he created Autovation recall software to help consumers, but Toyota shut it down.

— California Toyota dealer Roger Hogan has sued Toyota claiming the automaker is trying to close down Hogan's dealerships in Claremont and San Juan Capistrano.

According to the lawsuit, Hogan has been in business with Toyota for nearly 40 years, but the creation of a recall program to increase recall repair completion rates has turned Toyota against both dealerships.

Hogan claims he created a software program called Autovation that when installed and used by Toyota dealers enabled them to identify customers with uncompleted safety recalls.

Hogan says his dealerships created the software because Toyota owners can easily fail to see recall notices because the automaker sends only one recall notice to each owner. In addition, Toyota's allegedly old recall system made it practically impossible for dealers to find out if a car was recalled but never repaired when a customer brought the car in for service.

Hogan says the Autovation program fixed all those problems for dealerships and improved the safety of drivers.

But Hogan says the program also increased the work performed by dealers because more vehicles were repaired, causing Toyota to pay millions more to cover the costs, and something that caused Toyota to end the Autovation program. However, Hogan says Toyota went to extremes by trying to get him out of the dealership business.

For example, Hogan claims Toyota told him to buy more land for Capistrano Toyota, so he spent $2.5 million for additional land, but Toyota refused to provide the additional vehicles for the land.

The lawsuit also alleges Toyota stuck it to Hogan by tripling Capistrano Toyota’s monthly payments, then Toyota allegedly sent the best vehicles to other dealers. The plaintiff also accuses Toyota of sending customers to competing dealerships and finally told Hogan to get someone else to take over the dealerships.

When Hogan said his sons were taking over the family business, Toyota allegedly rejected the plan and told Hogan to sell the dealerships.

The lawsuit was filed in the Orange County Superior Court of California - Roger Hogan, SRK, Inc, dba Capistrano Toyota/Scion, and R&C Motor Corp., dba Claremont Toyota v. Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

Roger Hogan and his dealerships are represented by Miller Barondess, LLP.

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