April 2011: In Sitafalwalla v. Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. (No. 2:08-cv-03001), a verdict was returned in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Amir Sitafalwalla, a Long Island, N.Y., doctor, claimed that a defect in his 2005 Toyota Scion caused his car to accelerate suddenly and smash into a tree. The jury took less than an hour to find the carmaker wasn't at fault. It agreed with John Randolph Bibb Jr., a lawyer for Toyota, who argued in his closing statement that the accident was caused by the driver, rather than the floor mat.
December 2012: Toyota settled the economic loss suit.
Recalls for unintended acceleration in 2009 and 2010 set off a flurry of lawsuits claiming defects harmed the value of vehicles or caused accidents leading to death and injury. The federal suits were consolidated before Judge Selna.
The company settled the suits claiming economic loss for about $1.6 billion. (That settlement did not cover wrongful death and injury cases, which are still pending in the multidistrict litigation.)
January 2013: In Van Alfen v. Toyota Motor Corp., (No. 2:11-8120), a notice of dismissal was filed in the Central District Court of California. Toyota settled before the case went to trial.
January 2013: Michael Houlf v. Toyota Motor North America, Inc. et al. (No. 2:2012cv04054) was dismissed in the Los Angeles Superior Court and brought under California's lemon law for vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corp. settled. The case was brought by Michael Houlf, a retired Los Angeles police officer. The size of that settlement is not known.
October 2013: In Uno v. Toyota Motor Sales USA (No. KC057888), a verdict was returned in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County. Toyota won.
The jury said Toyota was not responsible for a fatal accident in which a 2006 Camry allegedly accelerated out of control. The jury found there wasn't a defect in the Camry that contributed to the 2009 crash, rejecting the allegation that the absence of a brake-override system was to blame when the car sped into oncoming traffic and crashed while the driver, Noriko Uno, was trying to brake.
Instead, the jury pinned full liability on the driver of another vehicle that had crashed into Uno's car before the Camry sped out of control. Jurors said the other driver should pay $10 million in damages to Uno's husband and son.
October 2013: In Bookout v. Toyota Motor Corp. (No. CJ-2008-7969), filed in the District Court for Oklahoma County in Oklahoma City, Toyota settled on punitive damages hours after a jury delivered a $3 million verdict over a claim that a defect in a Camry made it suddenly accelerate and led to an accident that left one woman dead and another injured.
The 2005 Camry driven by Jean Bookout, then 76, sped out of control as she was exiting from an Oklahoma highway in September 2007. Bookout couldn't stop the car, and it crashed, injuring her and killing her passenger and friend, Barbara Schwarz, 70.
The terms of the settlement remain confidential.
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times