— A Toyota class action lawsuit has been filed in the state of Washington alleging Lexus and Toyota customers have their text messages recorded by the infotainment systems.
The two plaintiffs who filed the class action lawsuit allege the infotainment systems in vehicles built at least from 2014 onward also download and store copies of all text messages from phones connected to the infotainment systems.
The text messages are allegedly stored in the computer memory in a way the Lexus or Toyota owner cannot access.
The Toyota class action lawsuit includes:
"All persons, who within three years prior to the filing of this Complaint, had their text messages recorded by the infotainment system in a Toyota vehicle (Toyota or Lexus) while a resident of the State of Washington."
The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs Evgeniy Goussev and Stacy Ritch, but only one of the plaintiffs is a Toyota customer.
Plaintiff Goussev owns a 2019 Toyota but says he did not consent to Toyota or any third parties downloading and saving his text messages.
In the past three years, plaintiff Ritch sent at least one text message to Plaintiff Goussev and the plaintiff never consented to have the messages saved.
The Toyota class action lawsuit alleges Toyota violates the Washington Privacy Act, "which forbids any entity in Washington from intercepting or recording any private communication without first obtaining the consent of all the participants in the communication."
Toyota Class Action Lawsuit: No Privacy
According to the Toyota class action lawsuit, Maryland-based Berla Corporation manufactures equipment (hardware and software) capable of extracting stored text messages from infotainment systems in Toyota vehicles.
The lawsuit alleges Berla admits while a vehicle owner cannot retrieve their own text messages, Berta and Toyota ensured law enforcement can.
The plaintiffs claim the CEO for Berla once gave an example of a Ford Explorer that had been rented. The saved data allegedly included 70 phones that had been connected to the infotainment system and all the call logs.
In addition, all the phone contacts, text messages and even music preferences were saved in the computer of the vehicle.
The plaintiffs claim they have been injured by Toyota's conduct in saving the private and confidential text messages without consent, and the plaintiffs can't even access or delete their own messages.
The Toyota class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma: Goussev, et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Ard Law Group PLLC.