Plaintiffs lawyers spearheading the litigation against Toyota on behalf of consumers whose vehicles have been recalled have added racketeering claims. They allege that the Japanese automaker falsely denied for the past decade that its vehicles are subject to sudden unintended acceleration and other defects.

The announcement came Monday, days after Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filed suit accusing Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. of engaging in deceptive business practices that have harmed the public. That suit was the first consumer protection action brought against Toyota by a government agency.