A California jury handed down a big decision for Toyota, saying that the car company wasn’t responsible in the 2009 crash of a Camry that accelerated out of control and killed the driver. Instead, the jury placed the blame squarely on another driver in the crash, saying it was the catalyst that set the whole accident in motion.
According the Los Angeles Times, jurors weren’t on board with the theory that it was Toyota’s fault for not including a brake override. Toyota’s attorney had argued that including such a feature wouldn’t have prevented the collision, because the victim had mistaken the accelerator for the brake.
Instead, the jury ruled that a codefendant must pay $10 million for broadsiding the victim’s car, causing her to hit the gas instead of the brake and accelerate into a telephone pole and a tree, killing her.
“We are gratified that the jury concluded the design of the 2006 Camry did not contribute to this unfortunate accident,” Toyota said in a statement. “We believe this verdict sets a significant benchmark by helping further confirm that Toyota vehicles are safe with or without brake override.”
An attorney for the victim’s family members says he was pleased with the verdict, calling it a “win, win, win.”
Toyota remains on the hook in plenty of other lawsuits over unintended acceleration, with a lot of them focusing on the claim that the cars have defects that cause unintended acceleration.
Jury clears Toyota in wrongful-death lawsuit [Los Angeles Times]