Toyota Settles Runaway Lexus Crash for $10M

Automaker had sought to keep amount confidential
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2010 7:13 PM CST
Toyota blames the Lexus dealer for installing wrong-size floor mats in the vehicle.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)

(Newser) – Toyota agreed to pay $10 million to the family of four people killed in a runaway Lexus crash that led to recalls of millions of vehicles, attorneys said today. The automaker had sought to keep the settlement amount confidential, but a judge ruled in favor of arguments by the AP and the Los Angeles Times that the public had a right to know. Toyota did not admit or deny liability in the settlement, reports the AP.

The August 2009 crash killed off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, 45, his wife, their daughter, and Saylor's brother-in-law Chris Lastrella. Their car reached speeds of more than 120mph, struck a sport utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames. Investigators determined that a wrong-size floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash. Toyota recalled millions of cars to replace floor mats that it said could cause the accelerator to jam. The carmaker later recalled millions more vehicles to replace gas pedals that it said could stick.

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