Toyota may be fined a second time for failing to alert federal regulators

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

It's likely that a second fine will be imposed on Toyota Motor Corp. after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the carmaker "had two separate defects that may require two separate remedies." The NHTSA said that Toyota failed to inform federal regulators that gas pedals might stick and cause unintended acceleration.

Last April 5, the NHTSA imposed the maximum $16.4 million civil penalty on Toyota for failing to divulge the defect. The agency sent Toyota a letter the same day, stating that it may be faced with additional fine due to the same pedals.

The letter stated further that the supplier of these pedals was CTS Corp. of Elkhart, Ind. The recall last January of 2.3 million cars was related to pedals that were slow to return after having been depressed and also to pedals that get stuck.

Toyota had also announced the recall for over 8 million vehicles for two defects that run the risk of unintended acceleration and an adjustment in the brakes.

President Akio Toyoda admitted that Toyota failed to share defect information adequately among regional units. The letter stated further that NHTSA Chief Counsel O. Kevin Vincent claims that Toyota met with the agency only on Jan. 19, just two days before the US recall of sticky pedals began.

According to a timeline dated March 24 that Toyota sent to the NHTSA, Toyota learned about the defects with sticky pedals in July 2006.

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