U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking the maximum civil penalty of $16.375 million against Toyota Motor Corporation for failing to notify the auto safety agency of what turns out to be a potentially fatal “sticky pedal” defect for at least four months.
The Japanese company did this “despite knowing of the potential risk to consumers.” Approximately 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. were recalled in late January for the sticky pedal defect.
The penalty being sought against Toyota would be the largest civil penalty ever assessed against an auto manufacturer by NHTSA. Critics maintain that is a laughable fine, given the billions upon billions of dollars Toyota has extracted from the U.S. market. (more…)