Toyota must pay a $1.2 billion fine for concealing information about safety issues with Toyota vehicles and for misleading the federal government and consumers about the dangers of its vehicles. Two safety issues caused a type of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. These safety issues have caused hundreds of accidents, including one that resulted in the death of a California state trooper and his entire family when their Lexus accelerated out of control, crashed, and burst into flames. Everyone in the car was killed.
The fine was imposed after a four-year investigation by the federal government, which showed that Toyota withheld important safety information, committed wire fraud, mislead members of congress, and provided misleading information to its own customers over the extent of the safety hazard. Toyota eventually issued recalls but not before lives were lost.
Companies will not take adequate measures to protect the public without paying significant fines or civil penalties. This type of fine should be applauded and should make other manufacturers take notice. People died because Toyota withheld information and misled everyone about the safety hazards of their vehicles. Corporate profits are not more important than human lives. Future lives will be saved because Toyota was held responsible.