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Federal Jury Clears Toyota In Unintended Acceleration Case

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A court verdict from a federal jury has ruled that Toyota’s unintended-acceleration woes were not to blame for a 2005 crash in which a Scion accelerated into a tree.

The jury deliberated for two hours in a court on Long Island before voting in Toyota’s favor. The court case, which began on Monday, is the first one related to Toyota’s acceleration problems since the widespread recalls began in 2009.

The plaintiff, a doctor from Brooklyn, argued that the crash was caused by the design of either the floor mats or the electronic throttle system. Toyota countered that he simply pressed the gas pedal by mistake. Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle refused to admit evidence related to the throttle system.

The plaintiff and his lawyers have not yet decided whether they are seeking an appeal.

This is the first case Toyota has defended in a long, long list of lawsuits filed relating to the unintended-acceleration issues. Thousands of owners are seeking damages related to vehicle damages, personal injuries, and even widespread depreciation. But for the company’s lawyers, this early victory for them is a good start.

[Source: Reuters]