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Toyota to Pay $10 Million in Lexus Lawsuit

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Toyota, Bob Baker Lexus, Lexus ES350

Toyota to Pay $10 Million in Lexus Lawsuit

VOA Breaking News (Voice of America)
December 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Toyota has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit filed by relatives of four people who were killed in a runaway Lexus crash in California.

The amount of the settlement was made public Thursday, days after a judge denied a motion to keep the figure secret.

The settlement figure was released by an attorney representing the dealership that lent the vehicle to the family. The dealership, Bob Baker Lexus, is a defendant in the case. Also Thursday, Toyota Motors issued a statement voicing disappointment that the sum was made public against the wishes of the plaintiffs and the automaker.

The crash happened in August 2009, killing off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, his wife, their daughter and Saylor's brother-in-law in the San Diego area. The fatal car wreck helped spark a wide-ranging safety recall by Toyota.

Saylor's relatives alleged in the suit that defects were responsible for the vehicle speeding out of control and crashing. The vehicle reached speeds of more than 190 kilometers per hour before it struck another vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled and burst into flames. Investigators determined that a wrong-size floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash.

Toyota has not admitted or denied liability in the settlement.

Toyota recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide to correct possible problems with unintended acceleration. Some experts and lawmakers, however, believe a faulty electronic system was to blame.

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