BREAKING: Toyota agrees to pay $16.4 million fine, denies violating Safety Act

Toyota announced today that it has agreed to settle the civil penalty demanded in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration”s April 5 letter related to the company”s recall for slow-to-return and sticky accelerator pedals by paying $16.4 million.

“We agreed to this settlement in order to avoid a protracted dispute and possible litigation, as well as to allow us to move forward fully-focused on the steps to strengthen our quality assurance operations,” Toyota said in a statement. “This will allow us to focus on delivering safe, reliable, high quality vehicles for our customers and responding to consumer feedback with honesty and integrity. These have been core Toyota values for 70 years, and we pledge to make an even greater effort to adhere to this philosophy now and in the future. We also welcome a new, more transparent chapter in our relationship with NHTSA, consistent with our commitments to Congress and the American people.”

However, Toyota said that it denies that it violated the Safety Act or its implementing regulations.

“We believe we made a good faith effort to investigate this condition and develop an appropriate counter-measure. 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 that is already moving ahead with a number of important steps to strengthen the company’s quality assurance operations.

– By: Omar Rana