Toyota Not to Blame in Calif. Crash Death: Court

Fellow driver owes $10M in damages

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2013 2:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – A key case in Toyota's sudden-acceleration saga has been found in the car maker's favor. A jury found that Toyota wasn't to blame in the death of Noriko Uno, 66, who lost control of her 2006 Camry in a 2009 incident, Bloomberg reports. Toyota opponents held that Uno was trying to brake, and the automaker was at fault because the car lacked a brake-override system. Uno's family is still set to receive $10 million in damages after the accident was blamed on a driver who crashed into Uno before she lost control.

The jury reached "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," says a Toyota rep. "We believe this verdict sets a significant benchmark by helping further confirm that Toyota vehicles are safe with or without brake override." Similar cases piled up after Toyota recalled vehicles over apparent sudden acceleration. Some 85 such cases are on hand in California; Toyota has won comparable ones in New York and Philadelphia.

Jeffrey Uno, right, and his father, Peter Uno, the son and husband of Noriko Uno, seen in framed photo.
Jeffrey Uno, right, and his father, Peter Uno, the son and husband of Noriko Uno, seen in framed photo.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Attorney Garo Mardirossian demonstrates how Noriko Uno might have tried to stop the car with the hand brake handle, in August 2009.
Attorney Garo Mardirossian demonstrates how Noriko Uno might have tried to stop the car with the hand brake handle, in August 2009.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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