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Toyota Recall: Settlement Revealed for 2009 Death of Patrolman

The McClellan Law Firm

National recalls this past year have thrown Toyota Motor Corp. into the public spotlight. Many remember the fatal accident in San Diego, California, where four family members were killed: California Highway Patrolman M. Saylor, his wife, their young daughter, and Saylor's brother-in-law.

Saylor's family filed a lawsuit against Toyota, claiming that the accident occurred because of faulty accelerator pads in the vehicle that caused it to accelerate without warning. The carmaker had already settled but just last week the full amount was revealed. There had been a dispute as to whether the amount should be publicly disclosed.

Toyota had been trying to keep the number unknown to the public. Some believe it was because the company was afraid that it would set the precedent for future lawsuits against them. There have been several other fatalities linked to the sudden-acceleration problem that some Toyota vehicles were having.

As mentioned in a previous post, Toyota was accused of knowing about the acceleration problem in some of their vehicles. The design of the gas pedal caused the accelerator to sometimes stick, causing the vehicle to accelerate seemingly on its own.

Defective designs in automobiles can cause serious accidents, as the families of these victims fully understand. Shouldn't the public know about the settlement? Shouldn't they be aware of the allegations against Toyota? Could it help prevent even more injuries?

The settlement brings some comfort to the four families of the victims of the accident. But while it does financially support them, the money will never bring back their loved ones.