Toyota to Pay $3M Verdict in Sudden Unintended Acceleration Lawsuit

Did the electronic throttle-control system of a 2005 Toyota Camry cause the vehicle to accelerate suddenly, seriously injuring one elderly woman while killing another? A jury in this latest sudden unintended acceleration case to go to court decided that that the automaker was liable and awarded $3M in compensatory damages to the plaintiffs-$1.5M to 76-year-old driver Jean Bookout for her serious injuries, the other $1.5M to the family of passenger Barbara Schwartz who died in the 2007 crash. Despite disagreeing with the ruling, Toyota then settled over punitive damages before a verdict on that could be reached.

Bookout claims her Camry accelerated suddenly before crashing into an embankment. Toyota, however, said there was no problem with the auto’s computer system and testing hasn’t showed any evidence of this safety problem impacting its cars. The auto manufacturer argued that driver error is what caused the catastrophic crash and that Booker mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake.

Sudden acceleration lawyers claim that the number of such incidents reported rose after Toyota started installing the ETCS-i system in its cars. The system lets the engine throttle be controlled not mechanically but electronically. A sensor is supposed to emit signals that gauge to what extent a gas pedal is depressed. The information is sent to a computer model that is supposed to open and close the throttle. Auto defects attorneys, however, claim that electronic signals other than the vehicle’s can impact the throttle.

Numerous sudden unintended acceleration lawsuits have been filed over the last four years by victims and family members against Toyota. The automaker has recalled millions of vehicles over this safety hazard that has also been linked to ill-fitting floor mats and sticky gas pedals.

Toyota Auto Defects
You want to work with a Boston auto defects lawyer that knows how to pursue your compensation from large automakers and other negligent parties.

Toyota has agreed to pay the driver and the survivors of a passenger in a Camry involved in a 2007 crash the driver claimed was caused by the car accelerating on its own, CNN, October 25, 2013

Recalls and Defects, NHTSA

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