Skip to comments.Toyota Should Be Fined $16.4 Million, LaHood Says (Obama's World: Your competitor can fine you)
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 worlds 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 Toyotas 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.
NHTSAs 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 ...
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.
I’m surprised the max is only 16 million....
Or at least announce a $1 billion charge due to Obama's health care bill raising insurance costs. That will piss'em off.
Why close a factory? What good would that do?
Now that has merit...
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.
Obvious conflict of interest...
Well that settles it,my next car will be a Toyota.
Toyota should annouce a charge of exactly $16.4 million!
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.
There ya go...
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.
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.
Interesting thought you threw into the headline. You have it correct.
I wonder why Bambi and company have not yet set their sights on Ford?
Attacking non-union manufacturers is a pure win in their minds.
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.
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