Toyota offer axed designer $1.7m

Thu, 24 August 2006, 08:54

F1 team Toyota has offered to settle for (US) $1.7 million a law case brought by axed chief designer Gustav Brunner.

The 55-year-old, who at the end of last year was let go after Toyota said his role had become ‘obsolete’, has two weeks to consider the Cologne court’s proposed compromise, according to Auto Motor Und Sport.

It was rumoured at the time that Brunner did not get along with some of his key colleagues, while a Toyota lawyer reportedly said in court that the Austrian veteran was no longer an expert in modern technology.

”Someone (at Toyota) said to me, ‘you have ten minutes to collect your things’,” Brunner, who earned around $40,000 per month, recalled of his departure.

Shortly after Brunner left Toyota, he was then implicated in the notorious Toyota-Ferrari espionage scandal, involving the theft of information and software for the design of F1 cars in 2003.

If he turns down Toyota’s compensation offer, the Cologne court will reconvene next month.

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