Toyota has already paid out millions and billions of dollars in settlements surrounding unintended acceleration, but the first lawsuit in the matter, which headed to a California court in July, has reached a verdict. Following the 2009 death of Noriko Uno, whose 2006 Camry was hit by another car and then sped out of control before crashing into a tree, the jury found that Toyota was not at fault in the crash.

Even though the 2006 Camry (shown above) wasn't involved in any of the unintended acceleration-related recalls and it was not equipped with a brake override, Automotive News reports that the jury's verdict says there was no defect in the car and actually blames the entire incident on the driver that ran into Uno's car – to the tune of $10 million. The accident started when the other driver ran a stop sign and hit Uno's car, and the report says that medical conditions (including diabetes) caused Uno to fail to stop her Camry.

The AN article also states that this lawsuit was a bellwether case for around 85 other personal-injury and wrongful-death suits against Toyota, but there are still many impending suits across the country. Scroll down for an official statement on this particular case from Toyota.
Show full PR text
Toyota Wins Unintended Acceleration Bellwether Trial
TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2013 -- Toyota today won an unintended acceleration case in Superior Court in Los Angeles, as a jury in the first bellwether trial in the Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (JCCP) rejected claims that a 2006 Camry involved in a fatal accident in 2009 was defective because it lacked a brake override system.

After deliberating for approximately four and a half days, a jury reached a defense verdict in favor of Toyota in a case 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 Uno case was selected as a bellwether by the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the JCCP.

Toyota said in a statement: "We sympathize with anyone in an accident involving one of our vehicles as well as the family and friends of Noriko Uno.

"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. 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 was represented at trial by Vincent Galvin Jr., Mark V. Berry, Curtis E. Jimerson and Anne O. Hanna of Bowman and Brooke LLP.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nothing like human error. Media exploited it. Lawyers capitalized on it. Toyota still standing strong. I'm not a fan of Toyota, but I am glad to know that this mess wasn't their fault.
      Carlus
      • 1 Year Ago
      The reason they sued Toyota was because the other driver doesn't have $10mill. They'll be lucky to get $250k, and after lawyer fees, half that...........with all those medical conditions, Uno shouldn't have been driving anyway. I'm glad her estate lost the case.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Facts are facts, I present exhibit A: http://www.nhtsa.gov/UA
      engr00
      • 1 Year Ago
      I dont believe any of the instances are actually due to the vehicles, I believe they are all human error. We live in a world of idiots. People dont even know how to drive any longer.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        b.rn
        • 1 Year Ago
        I'll agree that thanks to ambulance chasers, most of the SUA cases are not due to a vehicle defect. However, I suspect some of them (a minority indeed) may be legitimate. Even Toyota admits that their accelerator pedal can physically stick to full throttle. It's sad that the flood of bogus claims will overshadow some potentially legitimate claims.
      mawhalen53
      • 1 Year Ago
      Years and millions of dollars later, common sense prevails.
        mikoprivat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mawhalen53
        the only prevailing common sense is NOT TO BUY A TOYOTA...even if they are innocent. This is a drab, boring, low quality garbage. SUA or not SUA
      miketim1
      • 1 Year Ago
      only stupid people believed this bull was true
      GFB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Car takes 1/8 mile (660 feet) to reach 60mph. Same car brakes to a stop from 60mph in 130 feet. Which has more "horsepower;" the engine or the brakes?
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tort reform now. That's billions that will go to lawyers and not into R&D.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      In other news, Toyota found at fault for building boring junk with 20+ year old recycled transmissions and other components.
        v8eater
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        But they are still one of the most profitable car companies and also never went bankrupt....mmm weird.
          me
          • 1 Year Ago
          @v8eater
          The truth really does hurt
      NamorF-Pro
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think they should make the people who sued and got money from Toyota to be charged that amount to go back to Toyota for all this mess. Thanks for giving Toyota a bad name a**holes.
      Camaroman101
      • 1 Year Ago
      this is why i hate people
    • Load More Comments