Toyota reaches $1.2B unintended acceleration settlement in criminal probe

March 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials UPDATE: Just like that, Toyota has released an official statement confirming its $1.2-billion dollar settlement with the US Attorney’s Office. Our story has been updated to reflect this development and the automaker’s official statement has been added below . Toyota has reached a settlement over the criminal probe into its unintended acceleration problems, and the outcome is more expensive than first expected. The Japanese automaker has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to close the investigation among other settlement terms. The criminal inquiry focused on whether the company kept information from regulators and how it handled drivers’ complaints about the problems, according to the sources. Between 2009 and 2010, Toyota ended up recalling over 10 million vehicles worldwide over sudden acceleration fears. Fixes include modifying floor mats, gas pedals, and installing brake override software on affected models. In addition, Toyota made the latter standard on all of its new vehicles. The first rumblings of a settlement broke last month when “people familiar with the matter” revealed a possible billion-dollar agreement . That rumor suggested that the deal would also include criminal deferred prosecution arrangement that would force Toyota to accept responsibility but let it avoid federal criminal convictions.

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UPDATE: Just like that, Toyota has released an official statement confirming its $1.2-billion dollar settlement with the US Attorney’s Office. Our story has been updated to reflect this development and the automaker’s official statement has been added below.

Toyota has reached a settlement over the criminal probe into its unintended acceleration problems, and the outcome is more expensive than first expected. The Japanese automaker has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to close the investigation among other settlement terms. The criminal inquiry focused on whether the company kept information from regulators and how it handled drivers’ complaints about the problems, according to the sources.

Between 2009 and 2010, Toyota ended up recalling over 10 million vehicles worldwide over sudden acceleration fears. Fixes include modifying floor mats, gas pedals, and installing brake override software on affected models. In addition, Toyota made the latter standard on all of its new vehicles.

The first rumblings of a settlement broke last month when “people familiar with the matter” revealed a possible billion-dollar agreement. That rumor suggested that the deal would also include criminal deferred prosecution arrangement that would force Toyota to accept responsibility but let it avoid federal criminal convictions. This latest story doesn’t mention this factor in the settlement.

“Toyota has cooperated with the US Attorney’s office in this matter for more than four years. During that time, we have made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements,” said company spokesperson Steve Curtis in a statement to Bloomberg.

Toyota has already settled several other lawsuits related to the issue, including a $1.6-billion lawsuit from vehicle owners who claimed their cars dropped in value because of the issue. A $29-million settlement dealt with complaints from Attorneys General of 29 states.

Continue reading Toyota reaches $1.2B unintended acceleration settlement in criminal probe

Toyota reaches $1.2B unintended acceleration settlement in criminal probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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