Toyota Settles With U.S. Government For $1.2B

March 19, 2014 3:58 PM
Toyota Settles With U.S. Government For $1.2B
" WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government announced a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday and filed a criminal charge alleging the company defrauded consumers by issuing misleading statements about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The penalty is the largest of its kind ever imposed on an auto company, the Justice Department said.

The action concludes a yearslong criminal investigation into the Japanese automaker’s disclosure of safety problems, which focused on whether Toyota was forthright in reporting problems to unintended acceleration troubles.

The company admitted to misleading consumers and regulators in providing assurances that it had addressed the problems — which became public in 2009 following a car crash in San Diego that killed a family of four — through a limited safety recall of certain models. Toyota knew at the time that other models susceptible to the same acceleration problem had not been recalled and also took steps to conceal a separate acceleration problem related to a faulty pedal, according to the Justice Department.

“In other words, Toyota confronted a public safety emergency as it if were a simple public relations problem,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference "

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