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Toyota is expected to announce today that it will comply with a $16.4 million U.S. Transportation Department fine, imposed for a four month delay in notifying the government of faulty gas pedals on some of its vehicles. The fine is the largest civic penalty ever imposed on an automaker by the U.S. government.
According to AP’s sources Toyota does not want to accept liability for the delay but that by paying the fine it will essentially accept full responsibility. If Toyota were to dispute the fine it could result in a court case with the Federal Government – which is only likely to reflect even worse on Toyota.
According to reports earlier this month, the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed to have documents showing that Toyota knew of the sticking accelerator pedal problem in September but did not issue the recall until January.
The recall at issue is for 2.3 million vehicles, including models like the Corolla and Camry.
Until now the largest civil fine paid by an automaker to the U.S. government was $1 million, paid in 2004 by General Motors for taking too long to issue a recall for faulty windshield wipers.
[Source: The Associated Press]