* Case brought by family of woman killed in 2009 car crash
* Case first to go to trial in California over acceleration
* Woman's vehicle not subject to Toyota's
By Jessica Dye
Oct 10 A jury in California on Thursday found
Toyota Motor Corp not liable in one of the first
wrongful death lawsuits to go to trial in the United States over
alleged defects that caused some vehicles to unexpectedly
The closely watched case was brought by the husband and son
of Noriko Uno, a 66-year old woman killed in a 2009 car crash
involving a 2006 Toyota Camry.
It is among hundreds of similar lawsuits facing Toyota over
acceleration issues, which prompted the automaker to recall
millions of vehicles since 2009.
Uno's vehicle was not subject to the acceleration-related
According to their lawsuit, Uno's Camry was struck by
another vehicle, causing it to speed out of control down a busy
California road until it hit a tree, killing Uno.
Her family accused the automaker of failing to install
brake-override systems that could have stopped out-of-control
acceleration in vehicles sold in the U.S.
The case is the first to go to trial in California over
"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," a Toyota spokeswoman said in a statement.
A lawyer for the family of Noriko Uno could not be
immediately reached for comment.
According to a recent regulatory filing from Toyota, around
200 proposed class actions and more than 500 individual cases
have been filed against the company since February 2009 over the
alleged acceleration issues.
This week, a federal judge in California ruled that Toyota
must face a trial over claims that it failed to warn the public
about design defects that caused certain vehicles to accelerate
That case was brought by the estate of Ida St. John, who
said in 2009 that her 2005 Camry sped out of control and hit a
school building. She died after giving that testimony, but the
lawsuit does not claim that her death was caused by the crash.
The trial, slated to begin Nov. 5, will be one of the first
of the many federal lawsuits focusing on the Toyota acceleration
The first federal sudden-acceleration case to go to trial
ended with a win for Toyota in 2011, in a lawsuit brought by a
doctor who worked in Brooklyn.