— A Florida jury has cleared Toyota in a class action lawsuit that alleges Toyota Camry cars emit horrible smells from the air conditioners.
The Toyota Camry AC smell lawsuit was originally filed nearly five years ago and alleged millions of 2012-2017 Camry and Toyota Camry Hybrids were defective nationwide.
The air conditioner smell class action accuses Toyota of conspiracy along with mail and wire fraud by concealing the alleged air conditioner defects.
The lawsuit alleges the Camry heating and cooling vents emit the odors caused by mold, bacteria and fungus that grows in the evaporator, a problem that allegedly causes occupants to suffer health issues.
According to the plaintiffs who sued, refrigerant goes through the evaporator and produces water that fails to drain through a rubber hose.
Toyota had issued bulletins to dealers which explained the air conditioning systems worked as designed and any odors were “naturally occurring from the HVAC system and/or related environmental factors.”
Toyota fought the nationwide lawsuit, and by December 2021 the class action included only customers who purchased 2012-2014 non-hybrid Camry cars from Florida Toyota dealerships. In addition, the only remaining claim was a violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Although the vast majority of class action lawsuits never reach the trial stage, Toyota decided to take the case to a Florida jury.
Toyota Camry Air Conditioner Smell Lawsuit Verdict
As the plaintiffs tried to convince the jury about the alleged air conditioner defects and how Toyota allegedly concealed the problems, the automaker argued it did not mislead customers or anyone else.
Attorneys for Toyota told the jury the Camry air conditioning systems work as designed, and the plaintiffs didn't prove Toyota concealed any alleged AC problems.
Toyota referenced the Camry owner's manuals to support the conclusion that nothing was concealed from customers. Those Camry owner's manuals say odors might emit from the air conditioning systems.
According to Toyota, there was nothing deceptive because in fact, Toyota told owners that AC odors were possible.
Toyota also attacked the claims of moisture problems which allegedly created mold and fungus that caused bad smells. The jury heard how experts examined the Camry owned by the lead plaintiff and found no odors from the air conditioner.
In addition, the jury learned experts on both sides found no excess moisture in the Camry.
The Miami jury found Toyota did not conceal any alleged air conditioner defects and did not violate the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.