Toyota to pay $1.2 billion to end criminal probe over sudden unintended acceleration of vehicles

Toyota to pay $1.2 billion to end criminal probe over sudden unintended acceleration of vehiclesThe US Department of Justice (DoJ) has revealed in a recent statement that bigwig automaker Toyota has agreed to pay a whopping $1.2 billion financial penalty to settle the criminal probe into the problem related to the sudden unintended acceleration of some of its vehicles.

The $1.2 billion penalty which Toyota has agreed to pay is the highest ever penalty of its kind imposed on an automotive firm. US regulators have recently charged the automaker with criminal wire fraud, accusing the company of deceiving consumers by issuing misleading statements about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

The company had asserted in 2009 that it had "addressed" the "root cause" of sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles when it issued a limited safety recall of eight models for floor mat entrapment issues.

Despite the fact that Toyota has agreed to pay the huge penalty, the crux of the mess-up which the automaker has got itself into is that whether or not it was honest when it told investigators and the public that it was unaware of any safety issues with its cars.

While it has been pointed out that, as per published reports, the DoJ had found that Toyota made misleading statements about safety problems, the automaker has - in a statement to CBS News - said that it has "cooperated with the U. S. attorney's office on this matter for more than four years;" and also added that it has made "fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization."

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