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article imageToyota settles $10 million California suit over defective pedal

By Leo Reyes     Dec 26, 2010 in Technology
Toyota Motors has agreed to settle the lawsuit filed by the family of the victims of the road accident involving a Toyota Lexus ES 350 driven by California state trooper Mark Saylor with three members of his family on board.
The legal settlement which was filed in March in San Diego Superior Court was reported to have reached $10 million and was included in the product-liability and wrongful-death actions filed against Toyota and its subsidiaries over complaints of sudden, unintended acceleration in its vehicles.
The widely publicized car crash triggered a wave of legal actions from other Toyota car owners who were victims of flawed Toyota pedals.
The series of road accidents which were traced to defective pedals and floor matting led to the massive recall of Toyota cars in the US.
Those recalls in 2009 and 2010 were ordered by Toyota for repairs of ill-fitting floor mats that can jam the accelerator and for gas pedals that did not spring back as designed.
According to the lawsuit, Saylor was driving his wife, their 13-year-old daughter and his brother-in-law on a family outing when their car "began to accelerate on its own" and sped out of control despite Saylor's attempts "to apply the brakes and otherwise do everything possible to stop" the car, the report added.
Reuters reports said the crashes since 2000 may be linked to sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota cars including the luxury Lexus models.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating reports that as many as 89 crash deaths since 2000 may be linked to sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyotas and the company's luxury-line Lexus vehicles.
But the circumstances of the Saylor crash stood out, even to Toyota President Ikio Toyoda, grandson of the founder of the Japanese automaker, who extended his condolences to the Saylor family in an apology he delivered to a congressional hearing in February.
Toyota dealer Bob Baker, whose case with the crash victims is still under litigation, confirmed the $10 million settlement.
A lawyer representing the crash victims said
the plaintiffs regard the dealership as the "overwhelmingly responsible party," adding, "we'll ask for a lot more than $10 million against Bob Baker."
More about Road accident, Defective car, Toyota, Car crash, Court suit
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