The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Toyota have come to a $1.2 billion settlement agreement that will end a four year investigation into the inadvertent acceleration of certain Toyota vehicles. During a new conference on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the automobile manufacturer for misleading consumers through statements regarding the two issues that caused sudden acceleration in certain models. The NHTSA has already fined the company on four separate occasions for a combined total of $66.2 million for failing to promptly disclose defects, plus about $1.6 billion in damages to car owners bringing law suits claiming the vehicles were defective and lost their value.
This deal, one of the largest penalties ever imposed on a car manufacturer by the government, also includes independent monitoring of Toyota’s safety practices and deferred prosecution for three years on a wire fraud charge
According to Christopher P. Reynolds, Toyota North America’s chief legal officer, “Entering this agreement is a major step toward putting this unfortunate chapter behind us. Toyota has already made changes to become a more responsive company, as we continually work to enhancing quality control and creating rapid response teams to quickly investigate customer concerns.