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"Idiots! Someone will go to jail if lies are repeatedly told.

I can't support th is," one Toyota employee said after a meeting with regulators, according to a st atement of facts filed with the settlement. Toyota Motor Corp will pay a record $1.2 billion to resolve a criminal investiga tion into its handling of consumer complaints over safety issues, the U.S. Justi ce Department said on Wednesday. Toyota admitted it misled American consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues, each of which caused a type of unintended ac celeration, the Justice Department said. It is the largest such penalty levied by the United States on an auto company, o fficials said. Prosecutors filed criminal charges against the company but agreed to defer and d rop them if the company allows an independent monitor to review its safety pract ices and if it abides by the terms of the deal. Toyota is "effectively on probation for three years," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharar a, whose office conducted the investigation, said at a press conference announci ng the settlement. "It cared more about savings than safety and more about its own brand and bottom line than the truth," Bharara said. Toyota said it would take a $1.2 billion after-tax charge for the settlement in the fiscal year ending March 31. "Entering this agreement, while difficult, is a major step toward putting this u nfortunate chapter behind us," Toyota's North American legal chief Christopher R eynolds said in a statement. "GOING TO JAIL" The settlement resolves a four-year investigation by U.S. authorities. Toyota faces hundreds of lawsuits over acceleration problems that gained public attention after the deaths of a California highway patrolman and his family, whi ch were reportedly caused by the unintended acceleration of his Toyota-made Lexu s. The faulty acceleration prompted Toyota to recall millions of vehicles, beginnin g in 2009. But Toyota's public statements about the recall misled the public, because it kn ew it didn't recall all the cars susceptible to the problems, caused by faulty f loor mats, prosecutors said. The company also took steps to hide from regulators another type of unintended a cceleration caused by pedals getting stuck, officials said. No individuals were charged as part of the settlement. Last year, Toyota received approval on a settlement valued at $1.6 billion to re solve claims from Toyota owners that the value of their cars dropped after the p roblems came to light. It is also negotiating with hundreds of customers who sai d they had been injured.