The United States Justice Department has lowered a $1 billion boom on Toyota Motor Corp (TM) to end a four-year investigation into the beleaguered Japanese carmaker. While the $1 billion fine is one of the largest in history, it may end up being a bargain for TM in the long run. The $1 billion fine allows the company to avoid criminal charges regarding some of its models’ unintended acceleration. In addition to the fine, Toyota also will be held to court-imposed conditions for improving safety. Should it not follow these guidelines, the investigation could be reopened. And that could be a crushing blow to TM investors, who’ve already seen company shares drop from almost $140 in August to yesterday’s close at $109. What do you think? Is it a chance to buy the Toyota dip, or the beginning of an even bigger slide?
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