Last week the Department of Transportation announced a $16.4 million fine for Toyota after it declared the automaker acted too slowly in informing the government about a problem with sticking accelerator pedals which later led to a recall. That might not be the end of it, however, as according to a report by Automotive News the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) could levy yet another similar fine.
Of note is the fact that current legislation has saved Toyota from a far more costly payout. The DOT could have fined Toyota for each infraction on the 2.3 million cars, but the current law limits the amount to just one. Were it not for the current legislation, the total could have been as high as $13.8 billion.
The DOT is continuing to investigate Toyota and as it combs though mounts of subpoenaed documents new items of note continue to surface, allowing the DOT to put together a timeline of events. Most recently, investigators uncovered a document that Toyota has asked for accelerator pedal changes to be made in Europe last October, but not in the U.S. In addition, an email uncovered recently by former Toyota VP of environmental and public affairs Irv Miller, urged company execs to “come clean” on the accelerator pedal issue, stating that, “the time to hid on this one is over.”
No official word of the fine has been made by the NHTSA and Toyota has yet to announce if it will appeal the initial fine.
[Source: Automotive News va Autoblog]