Toyota owners had been contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about unintended acceleration issues for years, but one tragedy put the spotlight on Toyota's problems. Last August, California police officer Mark Saylor and three family members died when the family's 2009 Lexus ES 350 rental flipped and caught fire after a trapped floor mat reportedly caused the vehicle to speed out of control. A month later Toyota, officially recalled 3.8 million vehicles for floor mat issues and by February 2010 over eight million vehicles were recalled for unintended acceleration issues worldwide.
Automotive News now reports that Toyota has settled with the family of Mark Saylor for an undisclosed financial sum just over a year after the accident. Toyota reportedly declined to offer any insight into the agreement, and there's a good chance we'll never know how much money the company paid to settle the case out of court. Toyota is likely years away from putting all of its legal troubles in the rearview mirror, though. The spate of recalls generated numerous other lawsuits and several previously decided court cases were re-opened after the automaker's troubles became front-page headlines.
[Source: Automotive News sub. req.]