"Today, we can say for certain that Toyota intentionally concealed information and misled the public about the safety issues behind these recalls."
The settlement resolves a four-year investigation by U.S. authorities.
"As part of the settlement of this case, Toyota will fully admit wrong doing. It will pay a financial penalty of $1.2 billion dollars, and going forward, the company will submit to rigorous review by an independent monitor that will examine and assess the manner in which Toyota regularly reports safety issues to the public and its regulator. The $1.2 billion dollar payment represents the largest criminal penalty imposed on a car company in the history of the United States."
Toyota faces hundreds of lawsuits over the acceleration problems that gained public attention after the deaths of a California highway patrolman and his family, which were reportedly caused by the unintended acceleration of his Toyota-made Lexus.
Last year, Toyota received approval on a settlement valued at $1.6 billion to resolve claims from Toyota owners that the value of their cars dropped after the problems came to light. It is also negotiating with hundreds of customers who said they had been injured.