Back in 2009 and 2010 Toyota had to recall more than nine million vehicles because of problem that caused them to accelerate unexpectedly. Thirty-seven deaths were tied to the flaw, and the U.S. Attorney's Office alleged the Japanese car manufacturer misled and withheld information from the American public and government about the affected vehicles. As punishment, Toyota has agreed to pay a $1.2 billion settlement.
“The announcement that I am making today, I think, is reflective of the aggressive nature we will take in looking at these kinds of charges,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “I think this is a sign for the industry that we take these matters seriously and that individuals and corporations will be held accountable.”
The settlement is especially relevant right now because of General Motors' own recall controversy. The U.S. Attorney's office is reportedly investigating GM over its handling of ignition problems that led to a 1.6-million-vehicle recall. In a possible Freudian slip, Holder accidentally said General Motors instead of Toyota while addressing reporters today. Recalls are going to be in the news for a while.