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Breaking: Toyota Recall Documents Subpoenaed by U.S. Grand Jury, SEC

Criminal investigation into recall issues possible

 |  Feb 22 2010, 3:01 PM

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Toyota has announced that it has received subpoenas from both the U.S. Grand Jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over documents related to “unintended acceleration” issues with millions or cars, as well as the braking system on the Prius.

This news comes a day before congressional hearings on the matter and a day after it was revealed that Toyota boasted on an internal document that due to lobbying it had avoided a costly recall that would have cost the company $100 million.

According to a source of the Wall Street Journal, the investigation is being handled by the securities-fraud unit of the U.S. attorneys office, which has been used in preliminary criminal investigations on high profile cases. The Department of Transportation is also examining if Toyota did not issue recalls in a timely manner. If found guilty, the Japanese automaker could face a fine of up to $16.4 million.

Later this week, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

[Source: WallStreetJournal]