Toyota Reaches $1.2 Billion Unintended Acceleration Settlement

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Photo: Toyota
Today, Toyota announced that it finally reached an agreement with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to resolve the investigation initiated in February 2010 regarding the company’s recalls over sticky accelerator pedals.
Toyota will have to make a payment of $1.2 billion as part of the agreement.

"At the time of these recalls, we took full responsibility for any concerns our actions may have caused customers, and we rededicated ourselves to earning their trust," said Christopher P. Reynolds, chief legal officer, Toyota Motor North America. "In the more than four years since these recalls, we have gone back to basics at Toyota to put our customers first."

However, Toyota says fundamental changes across their global operations have been made now to become a more responsive company, as Reynolds further explains:

"Specifically, we have taken a number of steps that have enabled us to enhance quality control, respond more quickly to customer concerns, strengthen regional autonomy and speed decision-making. And, we're committed to continued improvement in everything we do to keep building trust in our company, our people and our products. Importantly, Toyota addressed the sticky pedal and floor mat entrapment issues with effective and durable solutions, and we stand behind the safety and quality of our vehicles."

Among the actions the company made since you can count things like:
  • Launching rapid-response teams to investigate clients’ concerns
  • Launch of the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Centre in Ann Arbor focusing on further safety advances to be shared with the entire auto industry
  • Field qualify offices network expansion to improve customer responsiveness
  • Improving quality control process
  • Extending the new vehicle development cycle by four weeks to increase reliability and safety
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