Toyota cashes out $16.4 million for U.S. safety fine


Toyota today paid a $16.4 million fine to settle allegations by the National Highway Traffic Safety administration that the company was too slow to recall vehicles with defective accelerator pedals. The payment comes just two days before Toyota’s U.S. sales chief, Jim Lentz, is expected to appear before a congressional committee investigating Toyota recalls.

In paying the $16.4 million fine, the Japanese automaker denied that it violated the Safety Act or its implementing regulations.

“We have acknowledged that we could have done a better job of sharing relevant information within our global operations and outside the company, but we did not try to hide a defect to avoid dealing with a safety problem,” Toyota said when it agreed to pay the fine last month.

Toyota may still be subjected to additional fines as safety regulators investigate whether Toyota delayed a 2009 recall of all-weather floor mats that could jam the accelerator pedal. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week that the investigation could run through the summer.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Reuters