Toyota Not at Fault in Unintended Acceleration Bellwether Trial | Edmunds.com
ADVERTISEMENT

Toyota Not at Fault in Unintended Acceleration Bellwether Trial


ADVERTISEMENT
Just the Facts:
  • Toyota was not at fault in a fatal 2009 accident involving a 2006 Toyota Camry in the first unintended acceleration bellwether case, a jury found on Thursday.
  • The jury rejected the allegation that the lack of a brake-override system in the vehicle was to blame for the crash.
  • "We are gratified that the jury concluded the design of the 2006 Camry did not contribute to this unfortunate accident," said Toyota Motor Sales USA, in a statement posted on the company's Web site.

LOS ANGELES — Toyota was not at fault in a fatal 2009 accident involving a 2006 Toyota Camry in the first unintended acceleration bellwether case, a jury found on Thursday.

The jury rejected the allegation that the lack of a brake-override system in the vehicle was to blame for the crash.

"We are gratified that the jury concluded the design of the 2006 Camry did not contribute to this unfortunate accident, affirming the same conclusion we reached after more than three years of careful investigation — that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle at issue in this case," said Toyota Motor Sales USA, in a statement posted on the company's Web site.

"As an important bellwether in these consolidated state proceedings, we believe the verdict sets a significant benchmark by helping further confirm that Toyota vehicles are safe with or without brake override."

The case was brought by the family of Noriko Uno, who claimed that her accident would have been averted if her vehicle had been outfitted with brake override. The 66-year-old woman crashed her 2006 Camry into a tree after it sped out of control in the wrong direction on a one-way road.

The jury blamed the crash on the driver of another vehicle that had hit Uno's car before the Camry sped out of control. Jurors said the other driver should pay $10 million in damages to Uno's family.

The Uno trial was a so-called "bellwether" case representing an estimated 85 personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits in California state courts. The lawsuits followed a series of Toyota recalls in 2009-'10 for possible sudden unintended acceleration issues, including sticky pedals and floor mats that could get stuck under the gas pedal.

Toyota is facing another trial next month in federal court in Santa Ana, California, where about 200 death and injury cases are pending. Another case is set for trial in February in state court in Michigan.

Edmunds says: The verdict in this bellwether case should be reassuring to consumers, since the jury found that there was not a defect in the 2006 Toyota Camry that contributed to the 2009 crash.

Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

New Car Reviews and Road Tests

ADVERTISEMENT

Get Pre-Approved for a Car Loan

up2drive

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan


Car.com

Credit Problems?
We can help you get Financing!

ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411