Toyota reaches settlement with families after Fatal Crash

World’s leading automaker, Toyota has settled a high-profile lawsuit over a car crash that killed a local California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members in August 2009. Mark Saylor, his wife, Cleofe Lastrella, their 13-year-old daughter, Mahala, and Saylor’s brother-in-law Chris Lastrella were all killed.

A passenger told a 911 operator that the officer was unable to slow the Lexus ES 350, a loaner car, which he was driving after taking his vehicle in for service. The highway patrol later said the car reached 120 miles per hour before crashing in a ravine and blamed the crash on loose floor mats.


“Through mutual respect and cooperation, Toyota and the Saylor and Lastrella families reached an amicable agreement in mediation that fully resolves these claims without the need for litigation,” said Toyota in a statement. Toyota eventually recalled 5.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix the problem. It also faces potential civil liability estimated at more than $10 billion from lawsuits sparked by complaints of runaway vehicles that have led to worldwide recalls of more than 8 million of its vehicles.

Most Americans are aware of ToyotaMotor Corporation, recalling 4 million vehicles with unresponsive and, in some cases, stuck gas pedals. Toyota is estimating a loss $2.7 billion in 2010. U.S. dealers say they spend more time answering calls from existing Toyotacustomers than enticing new customers to buy vehicles not equipped with the faulty part and that is impacting new sales.

If you own a Toyota, and would like to discuss your consumer rights, please contact M&A Law Firm toll-free at 1-866-789-1664, and speak with a products liability attorney concerning your Toyota’s safety. You can also click here to fill out our convenient online case evaluation form.

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