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2014-03-20 08:40

NAUGHTY NAUGHTY: Toyota has to fork out R13-billion to settle US accusations of misleading the public about safety issues in its cars during 2009 and 2010.Image: AFP

WASHINGTON - Toyota will pay the equivalent of R13-billion to settle US accusations that it sought to cover up an accelerator problem in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

The fault was connected to a number of crashes and deaths.

The US Justice Department said the Japanese automaker admitted misleading regulators and the public about the safety problems in its cars in 2009 and 2010.

Attorney-General Eric Holder said: "Rather than promptly disclosing and correcting safety issues about which they were aware, Toyota made misleading public statements to consumers and gave inaccurate facts to Congress.


"When car owners get behind the wheel they have a right to expect that their vehicle is safe."

Holder warned other car companies "not to repeat Toyota's mistake".

"A recall may damage a company's reputation but deceiving your customers makes that damage far more lasting," he cautioned.

The Toyota settlement came as giant US automaker General Motors faces an investigation for taking more than 10 years to address an ignition problem that is linked to more than 30 crashes and 12 deaths.
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