Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials A jury has decided that faulty software was to blame for a crash involving a 2005 Toyota Camry that killed one woman and injured another. This is the first time Toyota has been found liable by a jury in a lawsuit involving sudden acceleration claims. Toyota has maintained that driver error is the most likely cause for cases of sudden acceleration. Shortly after the jury in the case, which took place in Oklahoma and centered around a crash that injured 76-year-old Jean Bookout and killed her passenger, Barbara Schwarz, reached a verdict that would see Toyota paying $3 million in compensatory damages, a confidential settlement was reached. The jury, which had found Toyota liable for “reckless disregard” for public safety, had yet to decide what punitive damages Toyota would face. Toyota said in a statement, “While we strongly disagree with the verdict, we are satisfied that the parties reached a mutually acceptable agreement to settle this case. We will continue to defend our products vigorously at trial in other legal venues.” This verdict could have widespread implications for several more cases that have yet to be heard in court where lawyers are expected to argue that software was to blame for sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. These cases fall into a different legal category than the ones Toyota settled for $1.4 billion earlier this year. Toyota’s brief statement can be found below . Continue reading Toyota settles for $3M after being found liable in sudden acceleration case Toyota settles for $3M after being found liable in sudden acceleration case originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Oct 2013 09:55:00 EST.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Toyota Toyota is going to be back in the spotlight, as the first of its unintended acceleration lawsuits is headed for trial. This case covers a Los Angeles sushi shop owner, Noriko Uno. According to the what the family told The Detroit News , Uno only put about 10,000 miles on her 2006 Toyota Camry in four years. Uno was apparently afraid of high speeds, avoiding the freeway and taking a route home along LA’s surface streets to avoid them. On August 28, 2009, Uno’s Camry suddenly accelerated to 100 miles per hour, eventually striking a telephone poll and a tree and killing her. The family contends that Uno attempted to step on the brakes and pull the emergency brake, neither of which brought her speed under control, while Toyota maintains that improperly installed floormats and driver error have been behind the majority of the 80 cases expected to be heard in court. In Uno’s case, The Detroit News is expecting the trial to focus on the lack of an override if the gas and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. Brake overrides were installed on Toyota’s European fleet. The Uno family attorney will need to prove to the jury that it wasn’t driver error that killed Noriko Uno. Uno’s case will be a bellwether case, which other state courts will use to predict potential outcomes for similar lawsuits.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Lexus , Toyota Toyota’s sales seem to have rebounded from the unintended acceleration issues from 2009 and 2010, but the automaker is far from done dealing with this situation. Following a settlement worth up to $1.4 billion for economic loss to affected vehicle owners, Toyota has settled rather than going to trial in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from an accident in Utah in 2010 that left two passengers dead. This isn’t the first case in which Toyota has settled, but it was the first among a consolidated group of cases being held in Santa Ana, CA. According to The Detroit News , this case was scheduled to take place next month, and it was for a November 2010 incident in which Paul Van Alfen and Charlene James Lloyd were killed in a Camry when, based on findings by the Utah Highway Patrol, the accelerator got stuck causing the car to speed out of control and hit a wall; the terms of the settlement were not announced. The article says that while Toyota will settle on some cases, it doesn’t plan on settling on all of them as it still wants to be able to “defend [its] product at trial.” This will probably be the case in suits claiming that software for the drive-by-wire accelerator was the cause of an accident in a Toyota or Lexus vehicle. The question of whether or not the electronic accelerator played any role in this problem has been a hot-button topic since the beginning. Toyota has issued recalls in the past to attempt to prevent unintended acceleration caused by trapped floor mats and faulty accelerator pedals, but it also says driver error was to blame in some instances. Toyota settles first wrongful death suit related to unintended acceleration originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Jan 2013 09:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota U.S. District Judge James V. Selna has dismissed the first unintended acceleration lawsuit against Toyota in California on the grounds that it should have been filed in Utah. Automotive News reports that the case was brought to court by the families of two people killed in a Utah crash in 2010. Judge Selna found that a federal warranty claim in the lawsuit failed to meet a required threshold of $50,000. The warranty claim was levied toward the dealer that sold the vehicle, and since the judge ruled that the plaintiffs couldn’t use personal injury or punitive damages in warranty claim, the lawsuit fell short of the threshold. That meant that the case fell back under Utah jurisdiction. Meanwhile, Mark Robinson, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said that he’s already working to draft another complaint that leaves the dealer out as a defendant altogether. Doing so will allow the suit to go forward seeking full punitive damages. The suit alleges that Toyota failed to install a brake override system or otherwise prevent unintended acceleration.