NHTSA seeking $16.4 million in fines from Toyota

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking a fine of $16.4 million against Toyota Motor Corp. for failing to notify the department of a “sticky pedal” defect in its cars for at least four months.

Under U.S. regulations, auto manufacturers are required to inform the agency within five days of determining that a safety defect exists in its vehicles.

“We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “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. For those reasons, we are seeking the maximum penalty possible under current laws.”

In a statement released late last night Toyota said:

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) received notice from NHTSA on April 5 (in the United States) that NHTSA is seeking a civil penalty. TMC is now considering its response. Toyota has and will continue to practice its philosophy of satisfying consumers with high quality vehicles that are safe and reliable, and responding to consumer feedback with honesty and integrity.

The NHTSA is still continuing its investigation to see of the Japanese automaker committed any additional violations that may warrant additional penalties.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: CNNMoney