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Finally Getting His Due: Toyota Has Agreed To Pay A $700 Million Settlement To The Man The Toyota Corolla Is Based On

Following a long, protracted legal battle, an unsung icon from Miyoshi, Japan has finally received his due from one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers: Toyota has agreed to pay a $700 million settlement to the man the Toyota Corolla is based on.

About time! This man deserves every penny!

You probably haven’t heard of Yuma Hattori, but odds are you’d recognize him, as the Toyota Corolla—the best-selling automobile of all time—was modeled on his likeness. Just one look at Hattori, and the resemblance is undeniable, with his 182-inch-long, sedan-like proportions, a torso beset with doors, and his distinctly trunk-like posterior. And it’s no accident: In the mid-1960s, Hattori lived next door to the Toyota engineer who submitted the initial designs for the Corolla, who was very obviously influenced by his neighbor’s body shape and features. Yet despite the glaring similarities between Hattori and the Corolla, he went decades without receiving any credit or residuals, with Toyota persistently refusing to acknowledge his claims even as they raked in hundreds of millions of dollars a year from exploiting his appearance. 

But things are suddenly looking up for Hattori thanks to the hard work of his legal team, who were able to successfully convince a court that Toyota violated his rights by illegally using and profiting off his image without his permission. As a result, Hattori is now being awarded a long overdue settlement of $700 million ( ¥80.781), a figure that finally recognizes his role in inspiring Toyota’s flagship vehicle. 

“HOOOOOOOOOOOOONK! HONK-HONK!” Hattori proudly exclaimed to courtroom reporters once the massive settlement was reached, his voice uncannily similar to that of a Corolla’s horn. “HONNNNNNK!”

What makes this story even more heartwarming is that this money will provide Hattori much-needed relief from his lifelong financial struggles. Due to his massive, car-shaped body, steady jobs have proven near-impossible for Hattori to find. In fact, up until now, Hattori has resorted to sex work to support himself—a career path he can finally say goodbye to with the fortune Toyota’s rightfully passed his way.

Wow. What a beautiful story!

There’s nothing quite like seeing someone receive the recognition they’ve deserved for so long. After all the success his likeness has brought Toyota over the years, he’s finally received what he’s owed. Congratulations, sir!