Toyota To Pay $1.2B In Criminal Probe Over Acceleration Issue

By Greg Ryan (March 19, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT) -- Toyota Motor Corp. was slapped with a record $1.2 billion penalty on Wednesday in connection with criminal allegations that it hid two defects from consumers, regulators and lawmakers that caused vehicles to accelerate suddenly and unintentionally.

Under a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Toyota admitted that it made misleading statements about the safety issues. In 2009 and 2010, Toyota recalled nearly 8 million vehicles in the U.S. because of sticking accelerator pedals and a design flaw that could cause floor mats to trap the pedals.

The $1.2 billion penalty is the largest of its kind ever leveled...

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