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According to an MSNBC article, “Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay $10 million to the family of four people killed in a runaway Lexus crash that led to recalls of millions of the automaker’s vehicles.”

MSNBC reports that Toyota refused to admit or deny legal responsibility and “fought to keep the settlement amount confidential.” However, the news source explains “the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press argued that the public’s interest in the case outweighed confidentiality concerns,” and the sum was disclosed.

In a statement, the Toyota Motor Corp. said “it was disappointed the amount had been made public,” MSNBC reports. According to the news source, Toyota said the confidentiality of settlements is “common in these cases” and is meant to “protect the families from unwanted solicitations and to allow them to move on from this difficult period.”

MSNBC explains this settlement is the result of an August 2009 crash which killed four, including Mark Saylor, an off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer, his wife, the couple’s daughter and Saylor’s brother-in-law. According to MSNBC, the family was “killed on a suburban San Diego freeway when their car reached speeds of more than 120 mph, struck a sport utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames.”

According to investigators, “a wrong-size floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash,” MSNBC reports. The news source goes on to explain that “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.”

The MSNBC article explains this case “was considered the strongest of hundreds of lawsuits that have since been filed and consolidated before a federal judge in Orange County over claims stemming from sudden acceleration in several Toyota models, and brake glitches with the company’s Prius hybrid.”

MSNBC reports that although “The Japanese automaker argued the release of the settlement details could affect pending litigation and hurt its reputation,” the presiding judge “denied a motion to keep the settlement sealed.”

According to Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr, “the public’s right to the details outweighed arguments made by both sides,” the news source reports. MSNBC explains that both “Toyota and the plaintiffs sought to keep the settlement amount confidential.”

If you or a loved one owns one of the affected Toyota models and have experienced problems with sudden unintended acceleration or stuck accelerators, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with automobile recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve. 


MSNBC Staff Writer. (December 23, 2010) “Toyota to pay $10 million in Lexus lawsuit.” Retrieved on December 27, 2010 from MSNBC.