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In recent years, auto manufacturers have been plagued with expensive product recalls, along with the litigation and PR nightmares that invariably ensue.

Toyota Motor Co., for one, is still reeling from a slew of mechanical issues that have impacted its global operations during the last 3 years. In Oct. 2012, the manufacturer recalled 2.5 million vehicles sold in the U.S., citing potential fire risks, only to later announce a staggering $1.1 billion settlement in December to resolve lawsuits stemming from “unintended acceleration” mishaps in certain Toyota and Lexus models.

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