Toyota settles $1.2 billion suit sparked by recall-related death of Fil-Am family

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 19, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Toyota has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle a Justice Department investigation into complaints that some cars would suddenly speed up.

Attorney General Eric holder announced the settlement Wednesday morning.

Investigators were looking into whether Toyota made false or misleading statements when sudden acceleration became an issue in 2009.

Among the first high profile complaints against Toyota’s safety policies came from Filipina Fe Lastrella.

Lastrella’s son, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were killed in a 2009 crash linked to the acceleration problems.

Toyota recalled millions of cars in 2009 and 2010.

Holder said Toyota failed in its duty to ensure public safety.

“Put simply, Toyota’s conduct was shameful,” Holder said. “It showed a blatant disregard for systems and laws designed to look after the safety of consumers. By the company’s own admissions, it protected its brand ahead of its own customers. This constitutes a clear and reprehensible abuse of the public trust.”

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