To make matters worse for Toyota, the company faces a multimillion-dollar fine from the federal government for failing to issue a recall in a timely manner. As a matter of law, automakers that fail to issue recalls for defective vehicles in a timely manner are subject to fines of up to $16.4 million.

“We have not received any official communication from NHTSA so we are unable to comment at this time,” Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said with regard to the potential fine.

In a statement on Wednesday, Ray LaHood said that the Transportation Department will continue to review possible defects and monitor recalls, and that it took a massive effort on the part of the government to get Toyota to cooperate thus far.

The the $16.4 million fine remains available to the DOT, the biggest one assessed to date is a $1 million fine to GM involving 581,344. Though it has never been imposed, the agency also reserves the ability to fine dealers up to $6,000 per vehicle that they sell despite knowledge that it is defective.

- By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)


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