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Toyota Should Be Fined $16.4 Million, LaHood Says (Obama's World: Your competitor can fine you)
Business Week ^ | 04/05/2010 | Angela Greiling Keane

Posted on 04/05/2010 1:33:31 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Toyota Motor Corp. “knowingly hid a dangerous defect” that caused sudden acceleration and should be fined the maximum civil penalty of $16.4 million, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, waited at least four months before it told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about vehicle accelerator pedals that may stick, LaHood said today in an e-mailed statement.

“We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” LaHood said in the statement. “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.”

The proposed fine is the largest civil penalty assessed by the auto safety regulator against a carmaker. Toyota, based in Toyota City, Japan, in January recalled about 2.3 million cars and trucks for sticky accelerator pedals. The company has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for flaws that may cause unintended acceleration.

NHTSA cited documents obtained from Toyota in saying the company knew about the pedal defect since at least Sept. 29, the day it told distributors in 31 European countries and Canada to make repairs to resolve sticky-pedal complaints.

Brian Lyons, a spokesman for Toyota’s U.S. sales unit in Torrance, California, had no immediate comment on the fine.

Agree or Contest

Toyota has two weeks to agree or contest the fine, Olivia Alair, a Transportation Department spokeswoman, said in an e- mail. If Toyota contests the fine and the two sides are unable to reach a settlement, “it would go to court,” she said.

NHTSA’s largest automaker fine was $1 million against General Motors Corp. to settle charges that the company failed to conduct a timely recall involving windshield-wiper failures in about 581,000 vehicles.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessweek.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agenda; automakers; bho44; bhodot; fine; lahood; toyota

1 posted on 04/05/2010 1:33:31 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

If I ran Toyota, I’d write a check for the fine and immediately announce the closing of at least one US factory.

Fight the thugs.


2 posted on 04/05/2010 1:34:29 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m surprised the max is only 16 million....


3 posted on 04/05/2010 1:36:08 PM PDT by VAFreedom
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To: bigbob
"If I ran Toyota, I’d write a check for the fine and immediately announce the closing of at least one US factory."

Or at least announce a $1 billion charge due to Obama's health care bill raising insurance costs. That will piss'em off.

4 posted on 04/05/2010 1:36:16 PM PDT by avacado
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To: bigbob

Why close a factory? What good would that do?


5 posted on 04/05/2010 1:36:56 PM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: avacado

Now that has merit...


6 posted on 04/05/2010 1:40:42 PM PDT by bcsco (Obama: Hokus Pokus POTUS)
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To: SeekAndFind

Isn’t this the same guy who said that people with a Prius should drive to a dealer to get it fixed? Joe Biden must be working on some way to beat the competition.


7 posted on 04/05/2010 1:40:58 PM PDT by Bernard (One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by Government)
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To: SeekAndFind

Obvious conflict of interest...


8 posted on 04/05/2010 1:42:15 PM PDT by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well that settles it,my next car will be a Toyota.


9 posted on 04/05/2010 1:42:22 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop thinking about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: VAFreedom
If there was no maximum, then the fine would have been astronomical! Probably leading Toyota to going out of business.
I would not be surprised to see LaHood push to have Toyota banned from selling cars here in the states.
10 posted on 04/05/2010 1:46:09 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: bcsco
"Now that has merit..."

Toyota should annouce a charge of exactly $16.4 million!

11 posted on 04/05/2010 1:47:37 PM PDT by avacado
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To: Farmer Dean
Me too, I will start shopping this week for it. BTW, LaHood is scum.
12 posted on 04/05/2010 1:47:53 PM PDT by jospehm20
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To: SeekAndFind
Toyota Motor Corp. “knowingly hid a dangerous defect” that caused sudden acceleration

LaHood (well-named) is confusing knowing a defect exists that you want to fix, and knowing that the defect is so dangerous that it needs to be fixed immediately.

I still am not convinced that the simple "stuck accelerator" fix they worked out (the pedal had some parts that could stick through friction, the fix is a spacer) was dangerous enough to require a recall. But even if it was, I'm not at ALL convinced Toyota KNEW it was that dangerous when they first noticed it.

If the pedal came up slower than expected, some people might complain, and toyota would want to fix it to keep customers happy, but that wouldn't mean the cars could go out-of-control.

Remember that a "stuck accelerator" is not the same as "sudden acceleration". With a "stuck accelerator", the person has just accelerated the car, but when they let up on the pedal, the car doesn't slow down, and if they were acclerating quickly, could continue to acclerate. Generally you fix this by tapping on the accelerator to free it up, or you hook the pedal with your foot.

More dangerous is the loose carpet, because they can slide forward and actually push the pedal down, and then impede the ability of the driver to pull the pedal back up. Worse, they can get under the brake pedal, making it hard to push the brake down enough to stop.

But I think Toyota HAD told the government about that problem already, when they learned of it.

13 posted on 04/05/2010 1:48:10 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: avacado

There ya go...


14 posted on 04/05/2010 1:50:13 PM PDT by bcsco (Obama: Hokus Pokus POTUS)
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To: SeekAndFind

And then can we “fine” our congresscritters the sum of a lifetime in jail for their treasonous, sleazy, and otherwise progressive, liberal activities?

I hold the lowest Toyota employee to be far more honest and intellectual than ANY Obama employee.


15 posted on 04/05/2010 1:54:46 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: bigbob

Nah.......just everybody buy Toyota. We’re Toyota owners from here on out and I couldn’t ask for better service or better automobile. GO TOYOTA........ most of us are behind you because we know what this gooberment is trying to do to you.


16 posted on 04/05/2010 1:55:43 PM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Interesting thought you threw into the headline. You have it correct.


17 posted on 04/05/2010 1:56:44 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom
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To: Dawgreg

I wonder why Bambi and company have not yet set their sights on Ford?


18 posted on 04/05/2010 1:57:26 PM PDT by Drill Thrawl (Another day, another injury, another step closer. Are you prepared?)
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To: Drill Thrawl
That would pit UAW against UAW. Not good.

Attacking non-union manufacturers is a pure win in their minds.

19 posted on 04/05/2010 1:58:44 PM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: SeekAndFind

A conflict of interest to levy the fine on Toyota by part-owner of GM: the federal government.

Our Robber-in-chief now can take the $16 million and invest it in GM. There must be some lie they can make up for it not to be fair for Toyota to sell cars in the US.


20 posted on 04/05/2010 2:04:22 PM PDT by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy
You got that right. the owner of two large automobile companies fining a foreign competitor. Just how is that going to seem in court?
21 posted on 04/05/2010 2:05:47 PM PDT by oldenuff2no (Freedom and security are worth fighting for. Proud vet.)
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To: TChris
Why close a factory? What good would that do?

Indeed. Close ALL Toyota manufacturing facilities in the US and suspend all imports while offering profuse apologies and professions of unworthiness.

Then sit back and watch their gills flap.

22 posted on 04/05/2010 2:14:00 PM PDT by Chuckster (Domari nolo!)
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To: Chuckster
Indeed. Close ALL Toyota manufacturing facilities in the US and suspend all imports...

What are you smoking?

You think the UAW and Dems wouldn't just LOVE to make that happen if they could?

If you think Toyota disappearing from the US would make any Dems sad, you're crazy.

23 posted on 04/05/2010 2:20:50 PM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: Drill Thrawl

Ford is union. Toyota is not...in fact they closed the only joint GM/Toyota union plant after GM declared bankruptcy. This is clearly payback for that, the Feds even raided some of Toyota suppliers awhile back.


24 posted on 04/05/2010 2:23:40 PM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: SeekAndFind

How many US jobs will Toyota cut to pay that fine?
Maybe an entire plant.

India is an up and coming place.


25 posted on 04/05/2010 3:07:37 PM PDT by silverleaf (Karl Marx was NOT one of America's Founding Fathers)
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To: Drill Thrawl

Hmmm.......makes ya wonder don’t it? I’ve heard Ford is making money hand over fist so I’m really suprised BO and his henchmen haven’t taken it over........can’t have any company making a profit around here can they? Goes against their grain.


26 posted on 04/05/2010 5:59:54 PM PDT by Dawgreg (Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Need to keep GM boycotted and look down on anyone who buys a GM car.


27 posted on 04/05/2010 6:16:48 PM PDT by Monorprise
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