A Michigan man has filed a class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., alleging that the company falsely claimed that its 2012 Prius Plug-In could operate for up to 13 miles on a full electric charge.

The plaintiff contends that he purchased the 2012 Prius Plug-In because he wanted to drive to and from his office -- a 12-mile round trip -- without using the gasoline engine. He alleged that after purchasing the Prius, he could only drive 8 miles on a full charge, and could only do so during the summer months in Michigan.

According to the suit, the plaintiff took his Prius to the dealer in 2015 for testing to resolve the lower-than-advertised electric charge range. Following that test, the plaintiff said he was able to drive 10 miles on a full charge and that he suspected Toyota made alterations that were not disclosed. Toyota denied any such alterations were made to the plaintiff’s vehicle.

The complaint states that the plaintiff’s Prius will not operate on an electric charge at all when the temperature falls below 55 degrees. Therefore, the plaintiff is unable to operate his Prius for its main purpose of fuel economy during more than half the year.

The plaintiff alleges that Toyota’s marketing of the Prius’ 13-mile range was false advertising and that the company failed to mention in any of its materials that the electric engine would not function at lower temperatures.

The suit asserts claims for breach of contract, breach of express and implied warranties and violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. The plaintiff seeks class action status on behalf of himself and others similarly situated.

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