Rumors are circling that Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to settle a U.S. criminal probe over the sudden acceleration of some of its vehicles. The sources, who refused to be named, said that the settlement is estimated at $1.2 billion, and may be announced as early as tomorrow to the public.
In 2009 and 2010, some Toyota vehicle drivers experienced problems with their cars, including unintentional acceleration. This resulted to a mass recall of more than 10 million vehicles, which began in September 2009. At that time, the carmaker announced that it would call back around 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles over a car defect that causes floor mats to push accelerator pedals. The probe led to lawsuits that claim such defects caused accidents and affected the worth of the Toyota vehicles. The company settled the lawsuits filed by car owners and paid a total of $1.6 billion.
A spokesperson from Toyota, Steve Curtis, emailed a statement to the press saying, ‘Toyota has cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s office in this matter for more than four years. During that time, we have made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements.” Jerika Richardson from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Kelly Langmesser from the FBI in New York declined to comment on the rumored settlement.