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Monday, September 20, 2010

Toyota Settles Case that Spurred Recalls

Toyota has settled the California case that spurred recalls of millions of vehicles for an acceleration defect. The lawsuit Toyota was facing was brought by the families of four people killed when their rented 2009 Toyota Lexus crashed in San Diego, California in August 2009. Investigators determined the cause was a wrong-size floor mat that trapped the accelerator pedal.

The amount of the settlement is supposed to be disclosed sometime today, but the parties reached a settlement in June. The attorney for the plaintiffs is not talking at the time of this writing. The settlement that was reached did not include the dealer who loaned the Lexus. His attorney alleges Toyota is protecting its own interests by cutting out the dealer who seems to be on his own.

The dramatic and highly violent accident was caught on a cell phone 911 call made by the driver, a California Highway Patrol officer. He, his wife, his 13-year-old daughter, and his brother were driving through a San Diego suburban freeway when they could not keep from accelerating. The driver told the 911 operator they had lost their brakes.

The Lexus reached speeds of 120 mph, and only ended when they hit an SUV, launched off an embankment, rolled, and burst into flames. Just before the vehicle crashed, one of the four can be heard telling the others to pray.

This crash lead to Toyota recalling millions of vehicles to replace floor mats that caused the accelerators to jam. Millions more were recalled later to fix gas pedals that could stick. There were hundreds of lawsuits filed against Toyota claiming sudden acceleration, but the San Diego case was the strongest one settled thus far. Some of those involved in the Toyota recall cases believe it may cost the company billions of dollars.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective vehicle, please contact the experienced defective vehicle attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case consultation. We serve clients nationwide.


posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 12:15 PM

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