Toyota paid $ 10 million for the deaths of four people

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Gayle's new Lexus ES 350

Car Accident on Lexus ES 350

Toyota paid $ 10 million for the deaths of four people

Toyota Corporation has paid $ 10 million to the  family of a California Highway Patrol, who along with three passengers died in a car accident on the Lexus ES 350. During the investigation it was found that the cause of accident was a spontaneous acceleration of the machine due to faulty floor mats.

Toyota, based in Toyota City, Japan, agreed to settle with the family for $10 million, said Larry Willis, an attorney for Bob Baker Lexus, the San Diego car dealership that loaned the Lexus ES350 to Mark Saylor and isn’t part of the settlement.

A court order barring the parties involved from discussing the settlement terms, which must be approved by a state court judge in Los Angeles, expired yesterday.

“These parties agreed to keep the amount confidential, in part to protect the families from unwanted solicitations and to allow them to move on from this difficult period,” the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker said today in an e-mailed statement. “Mr. Baker now wants the amount publicized in an apparent effort to shift the focus away from his dealership as he continues to litigate this case with the families.”

Toyota issued the statement after the Los Angeles Times reported the settlement amount earlier today.

Acceleration Lawsuits

Toyota lost a bid on Dec. 10 in federal court in Santa Ana, California, to dismiss lawsuits claiming personal injuries or deaths were caused by incidents of sudden acceleration.

The automaker is accused in the lawsuits of failing to disclose or warn of a defect in its vehicles that could cause sudden acceleration. Toyota said in court filings that the plaintiffs didn’t offer specific allegations of an actual defect and that the company didn’t conceal anything.

Toyota faces about 400 lawsuits alleging lost vehicle value or injury or death from sudden acceleration.

Saylor, 45, his wife, their 13-year-old daughter and his brother-in-law died Aug. 28, 2009, when the Lexus they had on loan while his car was being serviced at the dealer crashed.

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