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Toyota reaches settlement with families after fatal crash

By the CNN Wire Staff
A settlement has been reached with Toyota and two families after a 2009 fatal crash in California.
A settlement has been reached with Toyota and two families after a 2009 fatal crash in California.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Attorney: Toyota does not admit liability
  • Four family members were killed in a Lexus crash last year
  • 911 call: "There's no brakes"
  • Investigation: An accelerator pedal probably became stuck on a floor mat
RELATED TOPICS

Read more from CNN affiliate KGTV.

(CNN) -- Toyota has reached a settlement with two families over product liability claims following a crash that killed four family members, a spokesman for the automaker said.

California Highway Patrolman Mark Saylor; his wife, Cleofe Lastrella; a 13-year-old daughter, Mahala; and Saylor's brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella, were killed when a Lexus sedan they were in accelerated uncontrollably on a freeway near San Diego last year and crashed over an embankment.

Lexus is a division of Toyota.

"Toyota and the Saylor and Lastrella families reached an amicable agreement in mediation that fully resolves their product liability claims against Toyota and a Lexus dealership," Brian R. Lyons said. "Through mutual respect and cooperation, we were able to resolve this matter without the need for litigation."

Lyons said the company and two families "wish to keep the amount of the settlement confidential."

Saylor family attorney John Gomez told CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego that as part of the settlement, Toyota did not admit liability.

An investigation revealed the accelerator pedal in the car probably became trapped on an all-weather floor mat that had been incorrectly installed in the vehicle.

Toyota issued a recall to address possible floor mat entrapment.

A 911 recording obtained by KGTV reveals a desperate call from inside the car as it approached the end of the freeway.

"We're in trouble. We can't ... there's no brakes," Chris Lastrella said. "End freeway half mile."

CNN's Greg Morrison contributed to this report.

 
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