Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) is close to a deal to pay $1 billion to settle a U.S. criminal investigation into how it disclosed customers' complaints about unintended acceleration years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing anonymous sources.
Toyota could reach a deal with U.S. authorities within weeks, the Journal quoted the sources as saying, ending a four-year probe into one of the Japanese automaker's most embarrassing international episodes.
The deal under negotiation could still collapse, or the settlement amount could change, the sources were cited as saying.
"Toyota continues to cooperate with the U.S. attorney's office in this matter," spokeswoman Julie Hamp said in an emailed statement. "And in the nearly four years since this inquiry began, we've made fundamental changes to become more responsive and customer focused, and we're committed to continue to improve."
Prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office are looking into whether Toyota made false or incomplete disclosures to U.S. regulators about possible car defects, the Journal cited people familiar with the matter as saying. They are also looking into possible mail and wire fraud violations connected to alleged false disclosures, the Journal said without elaborating.