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Reply #11: Toyota fined $16.4M, accused of hiding defect [View All]

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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-06-10 01:13 AM
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11. Toyota fined $16.4M, accused of hiding defect
Source: Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration today fined Toyota $16.4 million for a four-month delay in announcing defective accelerator pedals in 2.3 million vehicles that could trigger sudden acceleration -- and warned that more could be coming.

The fine, the largest ever levied by U.S. auto safety regulators against an automaker, forces Toyota to either accept a government judgment that it ignored U.S. consumer complaints of a safety problem or fight a high-profile court battle with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The world's largest automaker declined to say what its next step would be.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Toyota knew about the pedal defect at least as early as Sept. 29, when it told dealers in Canada and 31 countries in Europe how to handle customer complaints about the problem and fix the pedals.

In January, the automaker told NHTSA about the problem and issued a recall, revealing that the first complaints had been heard from customers as far back as 2007. It had changed the materials used to build the pedals in production twice -- once in February 2008, and again in August of last year -- without issuing a recall. And in its official notice to U.S. regulators, Toyota did not reveal the September bulletin to dealers outside the United States.

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Good. I only wish it could've been more money.
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