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Toyota to pay record fine

Toyota to pay record fine

Credit: AP

by TERRI GRUCA / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Updated yesterday at 10:20 AM

Toyota has agreed to pay a record $16.4 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for late reporting of a defect that led to unintended acceleration.

USA Today reports that “Toyota's decision to sign the legal documents, which it is doing in record time for a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fine, does not release it from any criminal or civil liability, however. (NHTSA is an agency of the Transportation Department.) If the company were to say it had documents to dispute the matter, NHTSA could refer it to the Justice Department.”

Under federal law automakers are required to notify the government within five business days when they find a potential safety defect. The government says it has evidence that Toyota knew about the gas pedal problems in September but didn't notify the government until January.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "By failing to report known safety problems as it is required to do under law, Toyota put consumers at risk. I am pleased Toyota has accepted responsibility for violating its legal obligations to report any defects promptly. We are continuing to investigate whether the company has lived up to all of its disclosure obligations."

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