Thursday, March 11, 2010

Toyota could face criminal charges

Congressional probes, mushrooming lawsuits and a federal probe into reporting of acceleration defects have raised the risk of criminal charges for Toyota.

The legal stakes are high for Toyota, because it is the first automaker embroiled in major safety issues since tough new criminal penalties became law after 2000's rollover recalls involving Ford Explorers and Firestone tires. The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act for the first time made individuals who intentionally mislead federal regulators about safety defects subject to possible criminal fines and/or prison.

Toyota revealed last month that a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York subpoenaed documents relating to sudden acceleration in various vehicles and braking issues in the Prius.

People died because Toyota tried to save millions by replacing floor mats instead of braking systems.

Toyota could face criminal charges?

Toyota should face criminal charges.

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