Toyota Settles High-Profile Sudden Acceleration Case

Toyota Motor Corporation has settled what is considered to be the most high-profile of all the sudden acceleration cases pending against it in state and federal courts across the country.  The settled case involved the August 2009 deaths of  California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law.  Saylor’s 911 call recorded the dramatic and tragic events that unfolded before Saylor and his family were killed after the Lexus ES  he was driving crashed over an embankment.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the settlement was reached during a mediation between the Saylor family and Toyota this past June.  Terms of the settlement are confidential, although sources have indicated the family sought a $ 10 million settlement.

Interestingly, the settlement did not include the Bob Baker Lexus dealership, which had loaned the car to Saylor.  According to the dealership’s lawyer, Larry Willis, "Toyota has sought to protect only its own interests. They decided to cut out their own dealer."  Because the settlement could materially effect the case against the dealership, its’ attorney has indicated he will oppose keeping the settlement confidential.  The court where the Saylor case was pending in California is expected to take up the confidentiality issue in the coming days.