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Toyota Wins Key Court Case

Maker still faces serious legal battles.

by on Apr.04, 2011

Toyota has emerged victorious from a key court battle in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York, which may be an early indicator of the strength of legal theories behind current unintended acceleration claims against the company.

After deliberating for approximately 45 minutes, a jury delivered a verdict in favor of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in an alleged unintended acceleration case brought by Dr. Amir Sitafalwalla, who claimed that an unsecured driver’s side floor mat was the primary cause of the crash of his Scion vehicle in August 2005.

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During the course of the week-long trial, Dr. Sitafalwalla’s primary expert, Dr. Anthony Storace, withdrew his assertion that the Electronic Throttle Control System in the Scion could also have been a cause of the accident based on his acknowledgment that he had no basis to support that claim.

Instead, the jury sided with Toyota’s lawyer’s blaming the accident on driver error, which is the most often reason cited by manufacturers for unintended acceleration incidents.