An out-of-court settlement was reached between Toyota and the relatives of a family killed in 2009 when a Lexus sped out of control and crashed.
The crash happened in San Diego in August 2009. A passenger in the backseat of a Lexus sedan called 911, reporting that the driver, who was a California Highway Patrol officer, could not stop the car. The Lexus reached speeds of 120 miles per hour, hit another vehicle, and landed in a ravine. The accident killed the driver, his wife, their 13 year old daughter, and the wife’s brother, who had called 911. The car was a loaner from a Lexus dealership while the driver’s car was being repaired.
This crash alerted the national public to Toyota’s sudden acceleration problems. Two months after the crash occurred, Toyota began recalling vehicles. Eventually, eight million vehicles were recalled, some because they had defective gas pedals, and some because the floor mat on the driver’s side trapped the gas pedal. This year, the federal government fined Toyota $16.4 million for waiting too long to recall the vehicles. At least 93 deaths are blamed on the acceleration problems.
The terms of the settlement are confidential. Toyota is facing numerous other lawsuits from other families whose loved ones have died in accidents due to the sudden acceleration problems.