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Toyota hit with record $1.2 billion fine in the U.S.

The U.S. government yesterday slapped a $1.2 billion fine on Toyota ― the largest ever against any automaker ―for misleading customers about unintended acceleration complaints in its cars and failing to recall some 12 million vehicles in a timely fashion.

A four-year investigation has shown that several deadly crashes were the direct result of a stuck gas pedal leaving drivers unable to slow their cars down. The poorly designed floor mats have been identified as the most likely culprit.

“We have made fundamental changes across our global operations to become a more responsive company, listening better to our customers’ needs and proactively taking action to serve them,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, chief legal officer at Toyota Motor North America.

Toyota also faces numerous civil lawsuits from victims or their families in various U.S. states.

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