Toyota Pays $1.2B to End Criminal Probe
It's an unusually large settlement for an automaker
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 19, 2014 7:49 AM CDT
Updated Mar 19, 2014 9:15 AM CDT
In this Nov. 5, 2010 photo, a Toyota Camry is shown after it crashed in Wendover, Utah. Police suspect problems with its accelerator caused the crash, which left two dead and two others injured.   (AP Photo/Utah Highway Patrol, File)

(Newser) – Toyota will write a hefty $1.2 billion check to end a four-year Justice Department investigation into its unintended acceleration scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder announced today. It's the largest criminal penalty against a car company in US history, according to USA Today. "Today we can say for certain that Toyota intentionally concealed information and misled the public about the safety issues behind these recalls," Holder said, calling the company's conduct "shameful." The deal will include a "deferred prosecution agreement," which means the DoJ will suspend its indictment provided Toyota mends its ways, the New York Times reports.

FBI investigators found internal records show that it knew the problem was bigger than it let on. A Toyota spokesman says the company has "made fundamental changes" since to improve its responsiveness. It's also already paid another $1.6 billion to settle various lawsuits from car owners. The settlement comes just as the FBI is turning its gaze on another automaker embroiled in a safety scandal: General Motors.

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TheJman
Mar 19, 2014 9:27 PM CDT
So Toyota covers up a major flaw in their product in attempts to sell it and Holder finds this to be a huge scandal and fines them heavily. Yet Obama outright lies to the American people to cover up the flaws in the product he forced Americans to buy and amazingly there's nothing wrong with that? This administration is a complete joke!
1010
Mar 19, 2014 8:33 PM CDT
Should have been ten times that amount, and Mr Toyoda should be in prison. This coward and his cowardly and crooked dealerships are nothing more than common sack sucking A$$ clowns.
NorCalHal
Mar 19, 2014 7:39 PM CDT
So, has the problem been FIXED ? Was there a recall ? Or is this just a money maker for the Oblama administration and the vehicle owners are still at risk ?