Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) has agreed to settle in a case related to the defects in cars that led to acceleration issues in the middle of the last decade. The faults in the Toyota vehicles are linked to one fatal crash, according to Reuters who picked the story up today. Shares in the company were down a fraction on today’s market.
The news comes after a Jury in Oklahoma ordered the auto maker to pay $3 million to a driver who was injured in a crash caused by the acceleration problem, and the family of a woman who was killed in a similar incident. Today’s settlement is related to punitive damages against Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203). Yesterdays $3 million decision was for compensatory damages.
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Toyota acceleration damages
The Oklahoma jury was scheduled to deliberate on punitive damages against Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) this morning, but this settlement was announced before the jury was able to come to a decision. The settlement, which was reached between the company and the plaintiffs, was sealed.
This lawsuit is one of the first related to the acceleration issues to go to trial. Toyota recalled some vehicles back in 2009 related to the acceleration issue. The plaintiffs in this case alleged that the 2005 Camry had an electronic issue that caused it to accelerate and speed out of control.
J. Cole Portis, a lawyer for the plaintiffs who was quoted by Reuters said, “We are fully convinced that Toyota’s conduct from the time the electronic throttle control system was designed has been shameful.” The lawyer went on to say that Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) was reckless.
Toyota acceleration case
This is the first case related to the acceleration issue that Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) has lost. The acceleration issue resulted in hundreds of lawsuits across the country. Earlier trials in New York and California removed any liability from Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) for the fault.
According to Reuters, Toyota has already agreed to pay around $1.6 billion in order to pay for economic losses related to the acceleration problems. The trial has not been a big factor for Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) investors in 2013. The company’s stock has risen by more than 35 percent since the year began, despite slowing down through the second half.