Javier Cardenas v. Toyota Motor Corporation

Case No. 18-cv-22798-CIV-FAM

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Frequently Asked Questions


  2. Why did I get a notice?

    The purpose of the notice is to advise you of a pending class action in the Southern District of Florida entitled Javier Cardenas v. Toyota Motor Corporation, Case No. 18-cv-22798-CIV-FAM (“the Action”). This Notice is issued pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and an Order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. This Notice will summarize certain rights and options you may have in the Action. You may or may not be a Class Member. Please read below to see if you are a Class Member.

  3. What is this lawsuit about?

    Plaintiffs in the Action allege that Defendants concealed a defect in the HVAC systems of the Class Vehicles. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the Class Vehicles have HVAC systems that allow condensing water to accumulate and allow naturally present organic matter to be trapped, which may cause microbial growth and resulting malodor to be emitted into the vehicle (the “HVAC Defect”).

    Defendants deny Plaintiffs' allegations and contend that the Class Vehicles do not have defective HVAC systems and deny that they have engaged in any wrongdoing. Defendants assert numerous defenses in this Action. The Court has not formed any opinion concerning the merits of the case. The Court has not ruled in favor of or against Plaintiffs on the merits of the claims that Plaintiffs bring on behalf of the Class.

  4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

    A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or a few named plaintiffs (here, Javier Cardenas and Rodney Baker) bring suit on behalf of all the members of a similarly situated group to recover damages for all of the group members, without the necessity of each member filing an individual lawsuit or appearing as an individual plaintiff. Cases are certified as class actions by courts where the claims raise issues of law or fact that are common to a large group, making it fair, efficient, and effective to bind all class members to the orders and the judgments in the case without the necessity of prosecuting/hearing essentially the same claims over and over again. Use of a class action eliminates the necessity of filing multiple suits and assures that all class members who do not exclude themselves from the class are bound by the results of the lawsuit.


  6. What are the Plaintiffs asking for?

    Plaintiffs in this action seek a judgment on behalf of the Class: (1) finding that Defendants violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUTPA”); (2) awarding damages based on the amount Plaintiffs and other Class Members overpaid for their Class Vehicles containing the HVAC Defect, such amount to be determined at trial; (3) requiring Defendants to pay both pre- and post-judgment interest on any amounts awarded; (4) awarding of costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees as permitted by law; and (5) awarding other or further relief as the Court may deem appropriate, just, and equitable.

    The ruling by the Court allowing the case to proceed as a class action does not mean that any money or other relief will be obtained for the Class because these are contested issues that have not yet been decided. Rather, the class certification ruling means that the outcome of any class trial—whether favorable to the Plaintiffs and the Class or to Defendants—will apply in like manner to every Class Member. In other words, the outcome of this lawsuit will apply to all individuals described in the Court’s class certification order summarized above who do not timely elect to be excluded from the Class (see below).

    Again, Defendants deny the existence of an HVAC Defect and any wrongdoing and contend that they are not liable to any Class Members. This Notice is not an admission by Defendants that the claims asserted by Plaintiffs in this case are valid or that there has been any wrongdoing or violation of law.

  7. Has the Court decided who is right?

    The Court has not decided whether Defendants or Plaintiffs are correct. By establishing the Class and issuing the Notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiffs will win or lose this case. Plaintiffs must still prove their claims at trial before a jury. At the trial, Defendants will be given an opportunity to defend against and dispute Plaintiffs’ claims.

  8. Is there money available now?

    No money is available now because the Court has not decided whether Defendants did anything wrong, and the two sides have not reached a settlement in this case. There is no guarantee that money will be obtained on behalf of Class Members. If you are a Class Member and do not opt-out, you will be notified about the outcome of the lawsuit and, depending on that outcome, how to share in any potential monetary amount.

  9. Am I part of the Class?

    You are a member of the Class if you purchased a 2012-2014 model year non-hybrid Toyota Camry from an authorized Toyota dealer in the state of Florida.

  10. I’m still not sure if I’m included?

    If you are still not sure whether you are a Class Member, you can get free help by calling or writing to Class Counsel in this case at the phone number or address listed in FAQ 11.



    You must decide whether to stay in the Class or ask to be excluded before the trial, and you have to decide this now by June 23, 2022.

  12. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a Class Member and want to retain the right to potentially receive money from this lawsuit, you don’t have to do anything now other than to preserve any relevant evidence. By doing nothing, you remain in the Class. If you are a Class Member and remain in the Class and Plaintiffs win a class action trial or achieve a settlement, you will be notified about next steps, including but not limited to how to apply for a share. If Defendants win, you will receive nothing. Keep in mind that if you do nothing now, regardless of whether Plaintiffs win the trial, you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue Defendants—as part of any other lawsuit—about the same issues that are the subject of this lawsuit. This means that with respect to the allegedly defective HVAC system in the Class Vehicles at issue in this case, if you do nothing, you will be legally bound by all the orders the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action. You may have routine maintenance performed on your Class Vehicle and necessary repairs and services (including any recall services). You also may transfer ownership of your Class Vehicle, but, if you do, it may affect the amount of your potential recovery. You must preserve all evidence, including documents, pertaining to your claims and Class Vehicle.

  13. How do I get out of the Class?

    To get out of the Class if you are a Class Member, you must send an “Exclusion Request” in the form of a letter sent by mail, stating that you want to be excluded from Cardenas v. Toyota Motor Corp. Be sure to include your name and address, and sign the letter. You must mail your Exclusion Request, postmarked by June 23, 2022, to Cardenas v. Toyota Motor Corp., c/o Angeion Group LLC, Attn: Exclusions, P.O. Box 58220, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Alternatively, you may email a signed copy of your Exclusion Request by June 23, 2022 to Angeion Group, LLC at info@floridacamryhvaclitigation.com. An Exclusion Request submitted by email is not effective until you receive an email confirmation from Angeion Group, LLC.


  15. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court decided that Joseph H. Meltzer, of the law firm Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check (“Kessler Topaz”), and Peter Prieto of the law firm Podhurst Oseck P.A. (“Podhurst”), are qualified to represent the Class and are referred to as “Class Counsel.” These attorneys and firms are experienced in handling similar class action cases. The names and addresses of the Class Counsel, appointed by the Court, who represent Plaintiffs and the certified Class are:

    Joseph H. Meltzer
    280 King of Prussia Road
    Radnor, PA 19087
    Telephone: (610) 667-7706
    Facsimile: (610) 667-7056
    Peter Prieto
    SunTrust International Center
    One S.E. 3rd Avenue, Suite 2300
    Miami, FL 33131
    Telephone: (305) 358-2800
    Facsimile: (305) 358-2382

    Please call any of the attorneys listed above or call the toll-free “Action Helpline” with questions about this Notice using the following toll-free number: 1-855-925-5954. Please do not call Defendants.

  16. Should I get my own lawyer?

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But if you are a Class Member and want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. For example, you can ask him or her to appear in Court for you, if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.

  17. How will the lawyers be paid?

    If Class Counsel is successful in getting money for the Class, they will ask the Court to recover their fees and expenses associated with this case. You won’t have to pay these fees and expenses out of your own pocket. If the Court grants Class Counsel’s requests, the fees and expenses would be either deducted from any money obtained for the Class or paid separately by Defendants.


  19. How and when will it be determined who is right?

    As long as the case is not resolved by a settlement, pretrial ruling, or otherwise, Plaintiffs will have to prove the claims at trial. The Court has not determined yet what issues will be decided on a classwide basis at that trial. During the trial, a jury or judge will hear all the evidence to help them reach a decision about whether Plaintiffs or Defendants are right about the common issues in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win, or that they will get any money for the Class.

  20. Do I need to appear at trial?

    You do not need to attend the class action trial. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiffs, and Defendants will present their defenses. You or your own lawyer are welcome to appear at trial at your own expense.

    Depending on the outcome of the class action trial, it is possible that you will have to present evidence or information to secure money. The Court has not yet determined this issue.


  22. Are more details available?

    If you want more detailed information you can visit the Important Documents page, where you will find the Court’s Order Certifying the Class and other case-related documents. You may also speak to one of the lawyers by calling Class Counsel.

    Please do not contact the Court, as the Judge will not be able to speak with you. Please also do not call counsel for Defendants unless you have opted out or excluded yourself from the lawsuit, or do not meet the definition in FAQ 7, as ethical rules provide that they may not speak to persons in the Class who are represented by Class Counsel.