Los Angeles—Toyota recently ordered all of its Toyota and Lexus dealers to inspect their cars for mismatched floor mats in response to a horrific car accident that occurred in San Diego County on August 28. California Highway Patrol Office, Mark Saylor, his wife, Cleofe, their 13-year-old daughter, Mahala, and Saylor’s brother-in-law, Christ Lastrella, were killed after a Toyota floor mat allegedly snagged the gas pedal in the family’s 2009 Lexus ES 350.
The family was traveling at 120 mph in the runaway car and eventually struck an SUV. Lastrella apparently called the police about a minute before the crash occurred to report that the Lexus had no brakes and that the accelerator was stuck. The driver of the SUV was treated for minor injuries, but sadly, the family was killed.
Investigators for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that the all-weather rubber mat on the driver’s side was longer than the factory mats that are usually placed in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. After the accident, Toyota officials contacted the dealership that supplied the vehicle to instruct the dealer to check the mats on all of his vehicles. The NHTSA has not confirmed whether or not the mat actually caused the accident by snagging the gas pedal, but they did admit that the all-weather mat did not belong to the Lexus. Tragically, the family was only renting the Lexus while their car was being serviced at the dealership.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.