Toyota may settle criminal investigation for $1 billion

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Toyota Motor Corp is nearing a deal to pay $1 billion to settle a U.S. criminal investigation about how they disclosed customer complaints about the unintended acceleration a few years ago, according to The Wall Street Journal. Toyota may reach a deal with U.S. authorities within weeks. This ends a four-year probe into Toyota. This deal could still fall through and may be subject to change.

“Toyota continues to cooperate with the U.S. attorney’s office in this matter,” stated Toyota spokeswoman Julie Hamp. “And in the nearly four years since this inquiry began, we’ve made fundamental changes to become more responsive and customer focused, and we’re committed to continue to improve.”

Prosecutors in the U.S. are looking into whether Toyota made false disclosures to U.S. regulators about possible car defects. The prosecutors are also looking into possible mail and wire fraud violations that are connected to alleged false disclosures. Toyota is dealing with hundreds of lawsuits regarding acceleration issues. Toyota had to recall millions of vehicles starting in 2009. Toyota was hit with over 200 proposed class action and 500 individual lawsuits that alleges personal injuries or property damage caused by the acceleration problems.

Toyota said that the electronic throttle system was not at fault and they blamed it on floor mats and sticky gas pedals.

[Source: Reuters via BusinessInsider]

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