Toyota will not be held responsible for a fatal crash involving a 2006 Toyota Camry, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury said yesterday.
Noriko Uno, 66, died during a crash in 2009 after Olga Belo crashed into her Toyota Camry. The impact caused Uno’s foot to be trapped on the accelerator, sending the car into a tree and utility pole. A jury deliberated for four and a half days before reaching a defense verdict in favor of Toyota, but Uno’s family is still being indemnified to the tune of $10 million. Belo was held completely responsible.
“Regarding the verdict, 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,” Toyota said in a statement.
This marks the conclusion of the first in a series of major lawsuits surrounding accusations that Toyota’s Camry mid-size sedan are subject to unintended acceleration. Lawyers argued that Uno died because her Camry lacked a brake override system rather that the car being potentially at risk for unintended acceleration.
“As an important bellwether in these consolidated state proceedings, we believe this verdict sets a significant benchmark by helping further confirm that Toyota vehicles are safe with or without brake override,” Toyota said.
Toyota didn’t begin implementing brake override systems until 2010, several years after most other automakers. But the brand argued that the systems weren’t and still aren’t required by federal safety regulations.
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