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.
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Toyota Statement on Bookout Trial

Torrance, Calif., Oct. 25, 2013 – Toyota today issued the following statement in response to the verdict and settlement of the Bookout v. Toyota case in Oklahoma County Court:

"While we strongly disagree with the verdict, we are satisfied that the parties reached a mutually acceptable agreement to settle this case. We remain committed to providing our customers with safe and reliable vehicles, and we will continue to defend our products vigorously at trial in other legal venues."


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      taucephei
      • 1 Year Ago
      My preventative measure is simple: Don't "drive" an automatic.
      RM
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow one lawsuit won and the trolls come out thinking there is actual evidence about electronic issues. You people must not know how the law works. After all, a jury of our peers found OJ Simpson not guilty and Casey Anthony not guilty. We know how accurate biased juries are. Toyota has won three previous lawsuits. The men who put man on the moon didn't find electronic flaws. Clearly ambulance chasing attorneys are not going to have the resources nasa does. The only people on here who believe in electronic gremlins are the biased ones who hate toyota. I like most all manufacturers. Ford is facing lawsuits over sua as is Chrysler. Gm and audi have been through it too. Think with an open mind. Three juries found toyota not liable one has. Welcome to the American justice system.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 1 Year Ago
      this is what you get when you cut costs without improving the product... Glad to see that people might soon see that Toyotas are not bullet-proof, and then they have nothing... Yes, I dislike Toyotas, they are the anti-car: their vehicles suck out all the joy of driving.
        404 not found
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        This is what you get when you're older than dust and mistakenly press the gas thinking you're pressing the brake.
      kevsflanagan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thank the gods a Jury not any engineer's or software specialist decided that the software was to blame and not the 76 year old woman who didn't have the common sense to put the car into Neutral and apply the brake with full force along with the Ebrake. Again we should all thank this Jury for allowing peoples ignorance about maintaining control of their vehicle at all times a big ol' mulligan.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Jesus!
        • 1 Year Ago
        Lets not forget pedals that STICK. And they knew about it for years. Anyone with a brain would have remembered that.
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Some justice finally served. I always knew at least some of the incidents were electrical related. Just because NASA couldnt figure it out doesnt mean it wasnt true.
        1454
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesus!
        So you take the word of some idiot drivers over the word of NASA? Hummmmmm, great world we live in. I guess I need to go drive my car off a cliff and claim the "accelerator stuck" so I can get 3 million. Whether or not this did or didn't happen(which I personally don't believe did because not one person can replicate it), anyone that belongs on the road would have put the car in neutral applied the brakes to slowly come to a safe stop. The people that died are what I call justice served because clearly they didn't belong on the roads endangering people anyway. Anything short of a blowout(even those are most of the time overcomable) should be able to be handled by the driver. If the driver can't handle it, they shouldn't have a license.
          Jesus!
          • 1 Year Ago
          @1454
          Everyone is human my friend. To think that it was only customers at fault is ignorant. You are the exact customer Toyota wants...blind.
          1454
          • 1 Year Ago
          @1454
          @ Jesus! 99% of the time it is the customers fault. Actually, more like 99.9%. Your comment is ignorant, and the same thought process that nearly bankrupted Audi in the 80's. I guess those cars just "jumped out of gear" all by themselves like their customers claim, right? Also, I toyota's do nothing for me. I need a car with a decent driving experience. Toyotas don't have that.
        b.rn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesus!
        Personally, I"m a little surprised a case about the electronics went this way. I absolutely believe Toyota had issues with stuck pedals (they eventually admitted it). The electronics part is a lot harder to prove, baring some crossed wires. I'd like to see how they removed reasonable doubt in this particular case. As to NASA, they tested a small number (ten?) of vehicles and couldn't find a problem. Given the number of claims vs the numbers sold, that small sample was statistically insignificant. The NASA test was pretty useless. I bet if you read the full NASA report, they'd state that themselves.
          nsxrules
          • 1 Year Ago
          @b.rn
          There's no reasonable doubt. This is a case of an uneducated jury getting it wrong
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why did they reflash the PCM's if nothing was wrong?
        1454
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        IDK, maybe as a last ditch effort if *maybe* it was their fault. But no one can replicate it, so why should they be liable for a drivers stupidity. I could understand them being liable if one was in an accident and the air bags didn't deploy or something. But these "UA" cases just sound like people mad they lost a loved one that obviously didn't belong on the streets and want money for it. That's not right. Prove toyota was actually negligent(as in they covered something up, or knew about the defect in advance and chose to do nothing about it) then I will agree. Right now, no one has come close to proving this was even a defect, much less whether toyota tried hide something. Lastly, most car makers use the same suppliers for different parts, and IIRC, Ford and GM both got accelerators form this supplier. So if it were a problem with the part, then why didn't those cars have an issue? Or more accurately, why aren't people holding up their pitchforks and torches outside Michigan? I mean if this happened to Toyota, then it is bound to happen at other manufacturers over time.
        kevsflanagan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        Because whenever a vehicle is brought in for maintence most dealerships and techs worth their salt will hook up the car to the manufacturers data site to see if it has the most recent up to date software. If there is a newer version they update it. What they change who knows could be a line of code that allows the fans to turn on a 1/2 degree temp sooner or later. At times also if a customer has a complaint about their car a newer version of software may eliminate it.
      SpikedLemon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure how a Jury makes sense for a technical evaluation like this.
        King of Eldorado
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        Typically, either party can have a jury just by asking for one (and paying the court fee), even if the issue is highly technical. Here, the plaintiff's lawyers likely figured they could bambooz-- er, convince a jury that it was software related more easily than they could convince a judge alone.
      brian peters
      • 1 Year Ago
      One good thing that came of all of this for my family. I made my kids practice what to do if this happens. Apply the brakes, turn the key back one click, put the car in neutral, pull over. Pretty basic but at 16 it took a bit of practice. The "turn the key one click" was the hardest part. first couple of tries they locked the wheel which would have been bad had we not been practicing in an empty parking lot!
        1454
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brian peters
        You're what most would refer to as a "responsible parent". Too bad there aren't more of you. We really need some serious driver training in this country. But it will never happen because the government gets too much money from tickets and the like to want more responsible drivers.
      linuxaddict7
      • 1 Year Ago
      I honestly believe Toyota couldn't figure out the exact cause initially or even now.
      linuxaddict7
      • 1 Year Ago
      05 Camry even wSnt part or recall. #weird.
        1454
        • 1 Year Ago
        @linuxaddict7
        I'm going to put my sexist hat on for a sec. Anyone else notice that all these UA cases(or all that I have seen) seem to involve a female driver...........Jus Sayin.
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