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U.S. Says Toyota To Pay $1.2 Billion Penalty Over Safety Issues

posted 19 Mar 2014, 08:24 by Mpelembe   [ updated 19 Mar 2014, 08:25 ]

BVO - Toyota Motor Corp will pay $1.2 billion to resolve a criminal probe into its handling of consumer complaints over safety issues, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

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Toyota admitted it misled American consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration, the Justice Department said.

The faulty acceleration prompted Toyota to recall millions of vehicles, beginning in 2009.


"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.