Toyota Agrees to $1.2B Penalty Ending Probe

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March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota has agreed to pay a $1.2 billion penalty to end a U.S. criminal probe into sudden unintended acceleration that led to the recall of more than 10 million vehicles, the Justice Department said. Bloomberg’s Yang Yang reports on Bloomberg Television's “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Largest penalties ever imposed on an automaker.

It is not the price of the toyota motor corp ration has to pay to settle the criminal probe.

Us all meant -- the settlement is 4 years in the making.

Dates back to accidents and deaths reported back in 2009. the investigation was led by the manhattan u.s. attorney, examining whether toyota intentionally misled federal regulate us by making false or incomplete disclosures about sudden, unintended acceleration in its cars.

The incident, as you remember, led to the recall of more than 10 million cars.

Hearings on capitol hill, lots of finger-pointing kit today that finger-pointing and, landing on toyota.

The justice department and the department of transportation and the manhattan u.s. attorney announced the settlement moments ago in washington.

Attorney general eric holder said toyota treated what was a public safety problem as if it were no more than a public relations problem.

Simply, toyota's conduct was shameful.

It showed a blatant disregard for systems and laws designed to look after the safety of consumers.

By the company's own admission, it protected its brand i had its own -- ahead of its own customers that it constitutes a clear and reprehensible abuse of public trust.

Toyota's response, they say they have cooperated and learned their lesson and cooperated with the authorities on this for more than a 4 years and have made fundamental changes, they are more responsive and accountable, and we have certainly seen that in the safety rankings pretty only lost the top spot as auto seller for one year in 2011, to gm.

Speaking of gm, the toyota settlement comes as its rival general motors is just getting caught up its own criminal probe with the same federal regulators and officials.

It looks very much like they are closing one book in favor of opening another, and that book is general motors.

Look, eric holder says toyota intentionally concealed information and misled the public and it has got to bring to my what happened with general motors, where they should've done recalls more than a decade ago and they didn't and the problems links to this recalls actually may have caused deaths -- not just one or two, but dozens of lives could what are you hearing as far as holder and the department of justice looking into general motors?

Obviously, the government was the major shareholder there.

Right, so that, of course, we're just at the beginning stages of that specific investigation, that probe.

The fact that they are closing this toyota pro, the timing is interesting, the fact that they would close this now would have won assume that perhaps they want to focus all of their intention now on general motors.

Like you said, dozens of deaths reported.

The target incident had mounting debt as well -- the toyota incident had mounting debt as well.

Today eric holder struck a very stern tone.

He did not mention general motors specifically but he did say that this case would set a precedent, that automakers can't continue to act this way.

We will see how this plays out with general motors.

How can you not mention gm when talking about this"/ it just boggles the mind.

Anyone ask him about it?

The q&a, i believe, is still going on but i had to run down here to do this.

Since i'm not listening to it myself -- but in his opening statement he did not make mention of this and i think that is because they try to keep these probes and cases separate.

Of course, that is the top is shown on everyone's mind.

Of course.

Yang yang in washington, thanks

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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