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Toyota Agrees To Pay Another $32 Million In Fines

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On: Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 1:00PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Agrees To Pay Another $32 Million In Fines

Toyota has agreed to pay more fines in order to settle the law suits related to unintended acceleration cases, more specifically; not notifying safety regulators in a timely manner. Other Toyota safety-related lawsuits were settled this week as well.

The total fines that the Japanese automaker agreed to pay this week were over $32 million, which was the maximum penalty to settle federal safety investigations. Toyota previously paid an additional $16.4 million in federal fines which brings the grand total to $48.8 million in civil penalties. Each fine that Toyota paid equated to the highest ever paid by any automaker for safety-related issues.

According to Steve St. Angelo, CEO for Toyota North America: "Toyota is pleased to have resolved these legacy issues related to the timeliness of prior recalls dating back to 2005. "As we have demonstrated in recent months, our North American operations now have a greater voice in making safety decisions, and we are taking appropriate action whenever any issues emerge.”

The 2004 and 2005 truck recalls related to loss of steering control, as well as the 2007 floor mat problems and "sticky gas pedals", were both settled this week.

There are still unresolved recall-related legal issues that Toyota could still face, such as 4 recalls in 2007 and one in January 2010 to "face another possible fine in a probe of whether it viewed unintended acceleration defects too narrowly,” according to a recent automotive news article.

Toyota continues to insist that all of the unintended acceleration cases resulted from floor mat entrapment, sticky gas pedals, or driver error, and that all testing has ruled out any electronic related cause of cars that sped out of control.

The grand total of recalls to date for Toyota vehicles since November last year is 15.5 million worldwide.

Secretary Ray Lahood stated: "I am pleased that Toyota agreed to pay the maximum possible penalty and I expect Toyota to work cooperatively in the future to ensure consumer safety."


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