Toyota Ordered to Pay Nearly $11 Million Over 2006 Car Crash

A visitor walking past cars is reflected on a Toyota car at the company's showroom in Tokyo February 5, 2013. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Toru Hanai)
A visitor walking past cars is reflected on a Toyota car at the company’s showroom in Tokyo February 5, 2013. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters/Toru Hanai)

A U.S. jury on Tuesday ordered Toyota Motor Corp to pay nearly $11 million after finding that an accelerator defect in a 1996 Camry was at fault for a 2006 fatal car crash in Minnesota.

Following a three-week trial, jurors in Minnesota federal court deliberated for four days before finding Toyota 60 percent liable for the crash, according to plaintiffs’ lawyers. Koua Fong Lee, the Camry’s driver, was found 40 percent responsible, according to lawyers.

The plaintiffs said that the crash was caused by a defect in the Camry’s accelerator that caused it to become stuck, and the brakes failed to work.

Toyota denied that the car was at fault, and said the driver had been negligent. A spokeswoman for Toyota, Amanda Rice, said it was weighing its legal options.

The car in the accident was not covered by Toyota’s recall of more than 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2010 over acceleration issues.

The Minnesota trial stemmed from a lawsuit filed on behalf of passengers injured or killed in a 2006 crash in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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SOURCE: Reuters, Jessica Dye

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