US Asks Judge to Dismiss Toyota Acceleration Case
Aug. 11, 2017—The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday asked a federal judge to dismiss a criminal charge against Toyota after the automaker completed three years of monitoring as part of a $1.2 billion settlement over claims of sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles, according to Reuters.
The request, filed in federal court in Manhattan, should bring to an end Toyota's legal woes stemming from its admission that it misled U.S. consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about the extent of sudden acceleration problems in 2009 and 2010.
In 2014, the world's second-largest automaker paid what was then a record fine for a car company to settle the case and reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. That agreement included three years of oversight by an independent monitor, which ended on Monday.
In bringing charges, the Justice Department said that Toyota minimized problems, misled regulators and provided inaccurate information to Congress in the scandal linked to at least five deaths.
In 2014, U.S. District Judge William Pauley said the case presented a "reprehensible picture of corporate misconduct" and expressed hope the government would ultimately hold responsible decision-makers at Toyota accountable. "This, unfortunately, is a case that demonstrates that corporate fraud can kill," he said.
Ultimately, the Justice Department did not bring criminal charges against current or former Toyota executives.