US Gov’t says Toyota accepted record $16.4M penalty for failing to report pedal safety problemBy Ken Thomas, AP
Monday, April 19, 2010
US Gov’t says Toyota accepted record $16.4M fine
WASHINGTON — The government said Monday that Toyota has agreed to pay a record $16.4 million fine for failing to properly notify federal authorities about a dangerous pedal defect.
The fine is the largest-ever penalty paid by an automaker to the U.S. government. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that by failing to report safety problems, Toyota put consumers at risk.
The penalty is connected to a January recall of 2.3 million vehicles with sticking accelerator pedals. The government says Toyota knew about the problem in late September and failed to report the defect within five business days, as required by law.
Toyota said in a statement that it agreed to the penalty “to avoid a protracted dispute and possible litigation,” allowing it to move forward.
The company denied the government’s allegation that it violated the law, saying it “did not try to hide a defect to avoid dealing with a safety problem.”
(This version CORRECTS SUBS heds to correct figure to $16.4M, sted billion; Will be led. Moving on general news and financial services.)