Toyota expected to pay penalty
WASHINGTON – Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to agree to a fine of more than $16 million, the largest government penalty levied against an automaker, for a four-month delay in telling federal authorities about defective gas pedals on its vehicles, a Transportation Department official said Sunday.
Toyota faces a deadline today to accept or contest the $16.4 million fine over evidence it knew about sticking gas pedals in September but did not issue a recall until January.
The Transportation official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Toyota is expected to pay the full amount of the assessed fine within 30 days as a means of avoiding going to court against the government.
The official said Toyota did not intend to accept liability explicitly. But from the government’s viewpoint, the official said, agreement to pay the full fine constitutes an acceptance of responsibility for hiding the safety defect in violation of the law.
Toyota announced it would recall 2.3 million vehicles in January to address sticking pedals. The Japanese automaker has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius hybrid.
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