Toyota will pay more than one-billion dollars in a settlement over safety issues. 

Attorney General Eric Holder said Toyota intentionally misled consumers about unintended vehicle acceleration in 2009 and 2010.  Holder noted that the Japanese automaker also concealed problems from U.S. regulators.  He accused Toyota of shamefully treating a serious safety issue as if it were only a public relations problem.  Holder said Toyota has agreed to "fully admit wrongdoing." 

The settlement is the largest such criminal penalty imposed on an auto company in U.S. history.  It allows Toyota to avoid criminal charges for three years, as long as it fully abides by terms of the settlement. 

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan took the lead in the investigation.  Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Toyota is essentially "on probation" for three years.