Toyota pays nearly S$20 million to settle US acceleration suit

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Toyota has agreed to a US$16 million (S$19.8 million) deal with a southern Californian county over charges the Japanese auto giant hid safety issues linked to unintended acceleration of cars, officials said Friday.

Toyota issued recalls in 2009 and 2010 affecting nearly six million vehicles in the United States due to the risk caused by floor mats and "sticky" gas pedal issues, said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

"The possibility of experiencing an unintended acceleration event during Toyota's recall crisis clearly scared many consumers," he said in a statement announcing the Toyota payout.

"This settlement is an important step in holding Toyota accountable for the safety and security of their customers," Mr Rackauckas added, noting that Toyota has a "major presence" in Orange County, south of Los Angeles.

More than 200 US federal and some 100 state cases were filed against the Japanese carmaker.

Toyota pulled around 10 million vehicles worldwide to settle claims that it hid gas pedal defects blamed for dozens of deaths.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.