The Justice Department is expected to announce an agreement with Toyota, worth one billion dollars, to settle the automaker’s handling of customers’ complaints regarding the unintended acceleration issue – after the automaker recalled millions of cars in 2009-10.
The office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has led the investigation and also analyzed allegations that Toyota has misled authorities back in 2009 when the complaints have turned into a source of controversy. According to the settlement the Japanese automaker might avoid criminal charges and is expected to cash out around $1 billion.
“Toyota has cooperated with the U.S.attorney’s office in this matter for more than four years,” a Toyota spokes woman said.
“During that time, we have made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements.”
When customers began to complain to the federal auto safety regulators about unintended acceleration issues in some popular Toyota models, the only thing the automaker did was to replace the floor mats for several years until 2009-2010 when the company decided to recall millions of vehicles. Lawmakers accused the automaker of not taking enough responsibility to address the safety concerns and regulators also received criticism for not handling the matter faster.
The Justice Department officials could not be reached for comments on the planned settlement.