Sitafalwalla claimed that his 2005 Scion tC accelerated on its own either through a throttle problem or a faulty floor mat, causing him to run into a tree. The jury didn't see it that way. Penny Overbeck, one of the jurors on the case, says that Toyota's extensive testing played a role in her decision, adding, "They had it all on video. It pretty much explained it."
This is just one case in what will doubtless be a protracted legal process for Toyota, but it's an important victory nonetheless. It'll be tough for Toyota to win them all, though, since the automaker did recall millions of vehicles for stuck brake pedals and defective floor mats. Sitafalwalla and his legal team are currently considering an appeal of the decision.
[Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek]