According to the Wall Street Journal, who in turn cited anonymous sources, Toyota is in the midst of finalizing a settlement deal that would see it paying $1 billion to end a criminal investigation.
The probe was triggered to see how the Japanese carmaker disclosed customers’ complaints about the unintended acceleration years that ensued years ago into a huge media scandal and in millions of recalled units.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the sources said the deal is still under negotiation and the amount could change or the settlement collapse, but if nothing changes the US authorities and Toyota could have an agreement in a matter of weeks – which would bring an end to a probe that sought to shed some light on a very important international episode.
“Toyota continues to cooperate with the U.S. attorney’s office in this matter,” said 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.”
Toyota still has hundreds of lawsuits related to the acceleration issues, which gained widespread public attention after a California highway patrolman and his family died in an accident reportedly caused by the unintended acceleration of his Lexus.