Toyota has reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New York to resolve the investigation into the communications and decision-making processes before, during, and after the company’s 2009-2010 recalls for “sticking” accelerator pedals. Toyota refuted the sticking pedals, blaming mis-aligned floor mats and other things, but the Attorney’s Office opened an investigation to find out if Toyota had committed any wrongdoing in the process.
Toyota has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to the government out of its fiscal year earnings ending March 31, 2014. If Toyota makes that payment, the government will drop prosecution and all charges, dismissing the case as settled. An independent monitor will be instituted to review policies and procedures relating to Toyota’s safety communications process and its processes for internal vehicle accident information and preparing and sharing technical reports about them.
Toyota released several statements about the agreement, focusing on touting their commitment to quality control and customer service. Pending and possible lawsuits against General Motors for more recent recalls and actions surrounding them mean that this case may give precedent in terms of what can be expected of an automaker hoping to settle in a similar manner. For more on that, read John Goreham’s thoughts on TorqueNews.