Saturday, December 25, 2010

Toyota Settled an “Unintended Acceleration” Lawsuit with US$10 Million

The families of four people killed in an accident allegedly caused by the now infamous “unintended acceleration” throttle-gate, sued Toyota earlier this year and reached a settlement in September. At the time, the amount was not made public, but now, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that a lawyer representing Bob Baker Lexus of San Diego, California, a defendant in the case, has revealed that the Japanese maker agreed to pay US $10 million.

The tragic incident, which lead to the death of California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor and three of his family members, occurred after the dealership lent him a 2009 Lexus ES that allegedly had the aforementioned defect.

Initially, Toyota and the plaintiffs agreed to keep the deal confidential and the manufacturer neither admitted nor denied liability.

In the aftermath of the disclosure, Toyota released an official statement saying that it was disappointed that the sum was made public, as the involved parties “reached a private, amicable settlement through mutual respect and cooperation without the involvement of the courts”.

Furthermore, the automaker considers that, by making the settlement deal public, Bob Baker Lexus is trying to shift the attention away from its own litigation case with the families.

“Our deepest sympathies remain with the friends and family of Mark, Cleofe and Mahala Saylor and Cleofe’s brother Chris Lastrella”, Toyota said in the statement. “However, as in the past, Toyota will continue to defend itself vigorously against the misleading allegations Bob Baker Lexus is making against Toyota. Toyota is not, however, in a position to address the additional negligence claims the families have against Bob Baker Lexus that are independent of Toyota”.


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