Already facing a record $16.4 million, Toyota just might have to dig even deeper into the corporate cookie jar, as federal regulators investigate whether the Japanese giant improperly delayed the recall of its Venza crossover vehicle.
The initial fine, the maximum possible, was announced earlier this month by the Department of Transportation which contends Toyota took months to reveal to regulators a problem with sticky accelerator pedals. After a fierce debate between U.S. and Japanese executives, Toyota ultimately recalled 2.3 million vehicles on January 21. But that move came long after the 5-day window for reporting a known defect to the government.
Now, the Los Angeles Times reports, the government wants to know why the Venza wasn’t recalled until January 27 of this year. The automaker had already issued a recall notice in December for cars sold in Canada.
The maker says it uses different floor mats in the U.S. and its northern neighbor, and the one in Canadian cars clearly could come loose and jam accelerator pedals – the cause of an earlier U.S. recall initially involving 3.8 million cars, trucks and crossovers.