It was the first uncontrollable acceleration case that broke national news in a big way, and it remains one of the most damning for Toyota. The fatal San Diego car accident occurred in August 2009.
A California Highway Patrol officer and his family were riding in a rental Lexus when the car began to accelerate. Unable to stop the car or slow it down, the officer had time to dial 911 and frantically beg for help before the car hit an embankment.
Images of the horrible wreck, along with transcriptions of the 911 call accompanied an expose on Toyota’s continued deferral of safety measures.
After that car accident, Toyota began to slide down a slope that company executives are still attempting to reclaim footing on. Millions of vehicles have been recalled, lawsuits have been filed across the country and Toyota’s brand has suffered what might be irreparable damage.
Last week, Toyota announced that it had settled the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the officer’s family members following the fatal accident. The out-of-court settlement was confirmed on Saturday, but as The New York Times reports, no details were released.
Toyota has continued to defend its vehicles against the onslaught of uncontrollable acceleration claims and, no doubt, executive hope that they will have more luck with this chapter behind them.
- Toyota Settles Over California Deaths (The New York Times)