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Toyota Settles with Two Families of Crash Victims from Utah
It was announced on Thursday that the Toyota Motor Corp. has settled with the family members of two people who were killed in a crash caused by sudden-acceleration in Utah, according to The Associated Press. The lawsuit was scheduled to reach court next month.
The agreement was reached in the case filed by the family of Paul Van Alfen and Charlene Jones Lloyd, according to company spokesperson Celeste Migliore. The two were killed when the Camry they were in crashed into a wall in Wendover, Utah back in 2010. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed by Migliore.
In December, Toyota agreed to a $1 billion settlement that resolved hundreds of lawsuits that claimed economic losses owners of Toyota vehicles suffered when millions of vehicles were recalled by the company for acceleration issues. The settlement in December did not include lawsuits filed for wrongful death and injury. There are still hundreds of those lawsuits remaining.
In a statement from Toyota, the company said, “We will have a number of other opportunities to defend our product at trial. We sympathize with anyone in an accident involving one of our vehicles, however we continue to stand fully behind the safety and integrity of Toyota’s Electronic Throttle Control System, which multiple independent evaluations have confirmed as safe.”
Toyota also reached a deal in a case involving retired Los Angeles police officer Michael Houlf. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and filed under the lemon law for vehicles in California. The amount of the settlement in the case was not disclosed.
The company has placed blamed on faulty floor mats, driver error and stuck accelerator pedals for the issues so far.
In the case that was settled this week, Van Alfen was driving the Camry on Interstate 80 close to Wendover, Utah on November 5, 2010. As Van Alfen was driving the vehicle it suddenly accelerated and skid marks showed that he tried to stop the car as it was exiting the highway. The car ran a stop sign at the bottom of the exit ramp and went through an intersection before it hit a wall, finally bringing it to a stop.
Van Alfen and Lloyd, the fiance of his son, were killed. Van Alfen’s wife and son were injured in the crash. Based on statements from survivors of the crash and witnesses, the Utah Highway Patrol deemed that the cause of the crash was because the gas pedal became stuck.