CNN: Justice Department reaches $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (CNN/AP/WVLT) -- The U.S. Justice Department has reached a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota over the automaker’s handling of consumer complaints related to unintended vehicle acceleration.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office has been investigating claims that the Japanese company initially misled U.S. authorities after complaints about unintended acceleration became a source of controversy. The acceleration issue prompted Toyota to recall vehicles beginning in 2009.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the automaker will admit that it misled U.S. consumers by making deceptive statements about two safety issues affecting its vehicles.

“Toyota has cooperated with the U.S. attorney’s office in this matter for more than four years,” a company spokesperson told CNN. “During that time, we have made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements.”

According to CNN, the FBI, which conducted the Toyota probe, is now gathering evidence on the complaints against GM that the company knew about problems with its vehicles before it told consumers.

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