Jury finds 1996 Camry had defect, partly to blame in fatal crash

Feb 4, 2015

1995-1996 Toyota Camry.
Credit IFCAR / wikimedia commons

MINNEAPOLIS - A federal jury has ordered Toyota Motor Corp. to pay nearly $11 million to victims of a fatal wreck after deciding a design flaw in the 1996 Camry was partially to blame for the Minnesota crash.

The verdict, which also held the driver partially responsible, was announced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

Koua Fong Lee's 1996 Camry crashed into another vehicle in St. Paul. Lee testified he tried to stop, but that the car wouldn't slow.

Lee was convicted of vehicular homicide and sent to prison, but he was released amid reports suggesting some Toyota cars had sudden acceleration problems. He later sued.

Lee's attorneys say a design defect in the 1996 Camry caused the crash, not Lee. Toyota argued there was no defect and that Lee was negligent.