Toyota has agreed to pay a fine of $16.375 million -- the largest civil penalty ever assessed against an auto manufacturer by NHTSA.
“By failing to report known safety problems as it is required to do under the law, Toyota put consumers at risk,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “I am pleased that Toyota has accepted responsibility for violating its legal obligations to report any defects promptly. We are continuing to investigate whether the company has lived up to all its disclosure obligations.”
This penalty relates specifically to both the “sticky pedal” and “slow to return pedal” defects, which resulted in Toyota's recall of approximately 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. in late January 2010.
NHTSA has the most active defect investigation program in the world, opening or closing an investigation almost every week. Over the last three years, NHTSA's defect and compliance investigations have resulted in 524 recalls involving 23.5 million vehicles.