NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Multiple sources are reporting that the Department of Justice has reached a billion dollar settlement with Toyota (TM) over its handling of customer complaints about unintended acceleration that eventually led the auto maker to recall over 8.5 million vehicles in 2010.
The settlement comes after a four-year criminal probe into the company. According to sources, the deal would allow the company to forego further prosecution in the case. The acceleration problem may have resulted in over 34 deaths over a period between 2000 and 2009.The DOJ has not announced the settlement yet but is expected to sometime Wednesday.
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Last year Toyota reached a $1.1 billion settlement in the class action lawsuit brought against it by owners of the faulty vehicles. The company had also paid $25.5 million to settle shareholder claims that the company hurt the value of the stock by not acting sooner to address the vehicle acceleration problem.
This news comes in the midst of a massive recall by auto rival GM (GM), which recently recalled 1.6 million vehicles due to an ignition problem. The GM recall is currently under investigation.
TheStreet Ratings team rates TOYOTA MOTOR CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate TOYOTA MOTOR CORP (TM) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."