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Posts Tagged ‘California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor’

Toyota Settles Saylor Suit. Takes on LA Times

The horrific Lexus accident that killed a CHP officer and three family members is closed. Hundreds more lawsuits outstanding.

by on Sep.20, 2010

Toyota's product liability and personal injury woes from mats will continue for a long time.

Toyota Motor Corporation has settled a lawsuit with the Saylor and Lastrella families that resulted in four deaths in August of 2009. The accident called attention to floor mat entrapment, a safety issue that eventually led to recalls of millions of Toyota and Lexus products globally.

It also prompted multiple Congressional investigations and a record fine against Toyota imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hundreds of lawsuits alleging unintended acceleration or floor mat entrapment are now part of a huge class action matter in Southern California. Toyota has moved to dismiss all the claims alleging unintended acceleration, saying no evidence has been presented of an electronic problem. It’s a long-term strategy, which could save it millions upon millions in litigation.

On August 28, 2009, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and three members of his family died in a high speed accident on a highway near San Diego, California, while driving a 2009 Lexus ES350 lent to them by a local dealer. Saylor, 45; his wife, Cleofe, 45; and their 13-year-old daughter Mahala died, along with Cleofe Saylor’s brother, Chris Lastrella, 39, when Saylor was unable to stop the sedan.

In a statement released after a Los Angeles Times story on the settlement, Toyota said:

“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. We felt that was important for Toyota, the dealer and the families.”

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It’s Official as Toyota Recalls Deadly Floor Mats

Japanese company denies it’s a safety related defect though.

by on Oct.12, 2009

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Remove driver's floor mat and don't replace it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this morning that Toyota Motor Corporation will recall 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles because of incompatible floor mats.

In August a California State Highway Patrol officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus ES350 crashed at 100 mph after its accelerator froze from a misplaced floor mat.

NHTSA said, “A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death.”

It is the largest recall in Toyota’s history. The common dealership practice of forcing Toyota and Lexus buyers to purchase floor mats as part of a new car sale is partially responsible for the size of the safety action.

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Deadly Toyota Floor Mats to be Recalled

Largest safety recall in history is coming from Toyota Motor Sales, which is accused of withholding accident data.

by on Sep.29, 2009

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"If a floor mat is not secured, there is the potential for the floor mat to slide forward and trap the accelerator pedal.”

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. will soon launch a safety campaign on 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to remove floor mats that may have caused deaths because of a stuck accelerator pedal.

Irv Miller, Toyota vice president of communications, said the recall is aimed at a problem where floor mats can interfere with proper operation of accelerator.

“If a floor mat is not secured, there is the potential for the floor mat to slide forward and trap the accelerator pedal,”  Miller said.

“This will be the largest recall ever for Toyota,” Miller said.  “We will be working very diligently to get his resolved,” Miller said. The old record for a Toyota recall involved 900,000 vehicles in 2005.

Recall News!

Recall News!

Last month, a California State Highway Patrol officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus ES350 crashed at 100 mph after its accelerator froze from a misplaced floor mat.

Until Toyota develops a remedy, it is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver’s floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat.

The following models are affected:

• 2007 – 2010 Camry
• 2005 – 2010 Avalon
• 2004 – 2009 Prius
• 2005 – 2010 Tacoma
• 2007 – 2010 Tundra
• 2007 – 2010 ES350
• 2006 – 2010 IS250 and IS350

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Toyota Orders Dealers to Check Floor Mats

California Highway Patrol Officer and family killed in horrific high-speed crash near San Diego.

by on Sep.17, 2009

Toyota's product liability woes continue to mount.

Toyota's product liability woes continue to grow.

A California State Highway Patrol officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus ES350 crashed at 100 mph after its accelerator froze from a misplaced floor mat.

Toyota is now telling Lexus and Toyota dealers to inspect immediately their new, used, and loaner fleet vehicles to make sure that the  driver side mat is the correct one  for the vehicle and it is properly installed and secured.

The emergency order was made public after the San Diego Union-Tribune revealed its existence earlier this week.

Toyota has been accused of withholding information in lawsuits involving other accidents, and is under assault by plaintiff’s attorneys in multiple lawsuits.

Why didn't the officer push the stop button?

Why didn't the officer push the stop button?

Preliminary information from law enforcement investigators shows that the cause of the crash with four fatalities may have been an all-weather floor mat from a different Lexus model, which, if installed incorrectly in the ES350, could cause it to interfere with the accelerator pedal.

All-weather floor mats are installed by Toyota and Lexus dealers or customers as an accessory item.

On August 28, 2009, California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor and three members of his family, Cleofe, Mahala, and Cleofe’s brother Chris Lastrella died on a highway near San Diego California, while driving a 2009 ES350 lent to them by a local Lexus dealer.

One of  the tragic questions thus far unresolved is why didn’t a trained police officer, who was on the phone to 911 when the accident occurred, simply put the car in neutral or press the large start-stop button to the right of the steering wheel?