Toyota Settles Faulty Accelerator Lawsuit
Toyota has settled the first of hundreds of pending wrongful death and injury lawsuits involving sudden and unintended acceleration in the US.
The Japanese car firm said it had reached an agreement in the case brought by the families of Paul Van Alfen and Charlene Jones Lloyd who died when their Camry slammed into a wall in Utah in 2010.
Toyota said the many remaining lawsuits were not automatically affected by this week's deal, but it may decide to settle select cases.
The Van Alfen case was to be the first of those tried, and to serve as a bellwether or good indicator for the rest.
"We sympathise with anyone in an accident involving one of our vehicles," a company statement said.
"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."
The Los Angeles Times said Toyota had also reached a settlement in another case brought by retired LAPD officer Michael Houlf.
The size of either settlement was not disclosed.
In 2010, Toyota settled a previous wrongful death lawsuit for $10m, before the current cases were consolidated in the US District Court in Santa Ana.
A California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members were killed in 2009 after their Lexus launched off an embankment and burst into flames.
Investigators determined that a floor mat trapped the accelerator and caused the crash.
That discovery spurred a series of recalls involving more than 14 million Toyota vehicles and a flood of lawsuits soon followed.
Last month, Toyota agreed to a settlement worth more than $1bn to resolve hundreds of the compensation claims stemming from the recalls.