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Mar 21, 2010 12:01 PM by Associated Press

Toyota shareholders sue over fallen stock price

Some Toyota shareholders are upset over a sudden drop in the Japanese automaker's stock price and they are filing lawsuits claiming company executives deliberately misled investors and the public about the depth of accelerator problems.

At least three proposed class-action lawsuits filed by Toyota investors say the company gave false initial assurances that the sudden acceleration problem was a simple matter of floor mats trapping gas pedals. The investors say that artificially inflated Toyota's stock price.

The shareholder cases are part of an avalanche of potentially costly lawsuits against Toyota over the acceleration issue. Other cases include those filed by crash victims and those brought by Toyota owners contending their vehicles have lost value since vehicles were recalled.

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