The bad press continues for Toyota
as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
has levied a serious fine against the Japanese automaker. The $16.4 million fine against Toyota came as a result of Toyota "knowingly hiding a dangerous defect,” according to US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
. It is the largest fine in NHTSA history, much more than its previous high of $1 million.
The dangerous defect in question is the dangerous “sticky pedal.”
Around 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. were recalled in late January for the sticky pedal defect. Toyota had a number of other recalls in what has been one of its toughest years in memory
“We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” LaHood said in the statement. “Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families.”
The maximum possible civil penalty for related violations is $16.375 million
. NHTSA’s penalty for this one is specifically in relations to the “sticky pedal” defect. It is still investigating Toyota to determine if there are additional violations that warrant further penalties.
“Safety is our top priority and we will vigorously pursue companies that put consumers at risk,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland
. “We will continue to hold Toyota accountable for any additional violations we find in our ongoing investigation.”
More on this development