When California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor and his family died in a fatal crash in an accelerating Lexus in August 2009, it was the first time the nation realized that a number of Toyotas had the same unintended acceleration problem. Now The Los Angeles Times reports that Toyota is going to settle a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit filed by Saylor’s family members for $10 million. According to the article, Toyota has agreed to the settlement.
Toyota has said all along that the floor mats in many Toyota vehicle models are responsible for jamming against the accelerator pedal and it blames the car dealership for failing to remove the thick floor mats on the Saylor Lexus. Toyota critics contend the problem with the vehicles has nothing to do with floor mats and more to do with Toyota’s electronics.
Toyota issued a statement saying it was disappointed the settlement amount had been released.
Earlier this year, it was reported that 39 deaths have been blamed on unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The auto manufacturer was fined $16.4 million, the largest civil penalty allowed under law, for hiding information about a defective gas pedal from federal regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reportedly received at least 2,500 complaints about Toyotas suddenly accelerating.
This settlement could set the bar for the other wrongful death and defective product lawsuits currently pending against Toyota. If you or a family member has experienced an injury or death as the result of a defective automobile, or defective automobile component, the Florida auto product liability attorneys at Farah & Farah would like to help you get started on finding some answers and seeking compensation to cover your medical bills and lost wages.