Toyota Agrees to Pay Record $16.4 Million Fine

Although not official, word is Japanese carmaker Toyota will not challenge the record $16.4 million fine dictated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for delaying the recall of vehicles which experienced unintended acceleration and will agree to pay it on Monday, April 19.

According to a Transportation Department official cited by DetNews, Toyota will then have a 30-day window to pay the fine.

Needles to say, when Toyota will accept the fine, it implicitly admits to all the accusations. Accusations which, although obviously based on fact, were never admitted to by the carmaker.

"By paying the full civil penalty, Toyota is accepting responsibility for hiding this safety defect from NHTSA in violation of the law," the official was quoted as saying by the source.

The fine was announced on April 6 and is the largest one given to an automaker. Toyota has until today to respond in writing, with NHTSA saying the carmaker will be taken to court and forced to pay should it raise objections.

"We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood motivated the government's decision.

"Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families."

So far, Toyota is facing some 180 consumer and shareholder class action status lawsuits, as well as 57 individual suits claiming personal injuries or deaths, all related with the unintended acceleration issue.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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