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Toyota Wrapping Up Final Settlements Over Recall

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On: Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 9:22AM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Toyota Wrapping Up Final Settlements Over Recall

Toyota is moving closer towards resolution over their last big legal battle concerning the now infamous issues concerning their vehicles that accelerated without intention. The problem has already cost the automaker billions of dollars and caused the recall of millions of their vehicles during 2009 and 2010.

The Japanese automaker is getting very close to reaching a deal with the Justice Department and Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. This particular settlement is intended to close the criminal investigation into how Toyota disclosed complaints over the sudden acceleration of their vehicles. The investigation into this matter spanned about four years.

Also involved is the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is focusing on if Toyota offered full disclosure over the financial impact of the problems.

On Sunday, Toyota officials said that no agreement was made, but a settlement in this matter would be one of that last hurdles to get them in the clear. The automaker is undoubtably eager to put their ongoing legal troubles behind them and move forward with focus on their vehicles again.

Toyota is also in talks to settle the hundreds of state and federal suits people have filed with them for personal injury and wrongful death compensation. In December, two months after Toyota lost a major case in an Oklahoma court, negotiations began to settle these lawsuits. In this landmark case, a jury found that it was the electronic throttle system on a Toyota Camry that killed one person and injured another.

This outcome followed three sudden-acceleration trials decided in Toyota’s favor. According to sources, there are around 400 cases in the works still and many others have already been settled. The negotiations for the rest of the cases are set to begin in February and March with those not settled entering mediation in April and May of 2014. Toyota also recently reached a settlement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over Toyota's response to the initial investigation and warnings of problems with the accelerators.

If Toyota does free itself of legal woes, it will be a great year for the company—they are already set to see record profits this year. During the times of the sudden-acceleration crisis, Toyota quality was questionable, but now their vehicles are arguably superior to many other vehicle brands. Consumers have even regained their confidence in the brand and recognize their efforts to compete in the evolving industry.



Parris Boyd | 11:49AM (Fri, Feb 14, 2014)

Why should anyone be allowed to buy their way out of a criminal investigation? And with Toyota's software at issue in their latest massive recall - affecting the Prius, RAV4, Tacoma, and Lexus RX 350 - is it any wonder that renowned computer expert Michael Barr found bugs in Toyota's software causing sudden unintended acceleration? There's a NEWS BLACKOUT regarding Mr. Barr's findings, but word is starting to circulate amidst outspoken support from Mr. Barr's peers.. I've been blogging about the Recall King for quite some time: search "Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be YOU..."


Jason Lancaster | 10:40PM (Sun, Feb 16, 2014)

Barr's testimony was that the code itself has errors - not that these errors cause a problem.

It's a notable difference: errors in computer code are quite common. But, if the code is designed properly, an execution error (or warning) doesn't cause a problem.

Basically, Barr showed that Toyota's code was a bit sloppy. But that's not proof that Toyota's throttle system had an error. When you combine that info with the fact that NHTSA, NASA, MIT, Exponent, and others all tested the system and found no errors...it's sort of unbelievable that Toyota owes anyone a penny.

  • Jason Lancaster

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