Toyota to pay NHTSA $17M for Untimely Defect Reporting

Toyota has agreed to pay $17.35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over claims from the agency that the Japanese automaker failed to report vehicle defects to the federal government in a timely manner. 

Federal law requires automakers to notify NHTSA of defects in its vehicles within five business days of discovering them. In May 2012, NHTSA contacted Toyota to advise them of a trend they had started to notice regarding pedal entrapment in 2010 Lexus RX 350s. A full month later, Toyota contacted NHTSA, and said that it was aware of 63 alleged incidents of possible floor mat pedal entrapment, affecting 2010 Lexus RX 350s since 2009.

NHTSA conducted a safety recall of 154,036 Toyota vehicles in June, 2012 over the pedal entrapment issue.

As a part of the settlement, Toyota has also agreed to make internal changes to improve quality assurance and review of safety-related issues in the U.S.

This is not the first time Toyota has faced civil penalties from NHTSA, as back in 2010 the automaker paid $48.8 million as result of violations stemming from the pedal entrapment, sticky pedal and steering relay rod recalls.

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