The latest turn of events in the Toyota recall debacle, hence dubbed “Pedal-gate” has Toyota situated squarely in the cross-hairs of a none-too-amused NHTSA and potentially facing the largest fine (to-date) in automotive recall history, a hefty $16.4 million dollars! Toyota is accused of knowingly trying to conceal a “dangerous defect” in it’s vehicles and “slow reporting” of the faulty accelerator problem to the NHTSA; if these accusations pan out Toyota could be held directly responsible for several motorists’ deaths, exposing the auto manufacturer to a spate of litigation and class action lawsuits.
The news of the impending fine was announced yesterday by the Transportation Secretary who stated that the $16 million dollar fine was the stiffest penalty that the US government could levy against Toyota for concealing the pedal problem that has led to the recall of almost 10 million Toyota vehicles worldwide.
Toyota’s official response to the news of the NHTSA Penalty was as follows:
“While we have not yet received their letter, we understand that NHTSA has taken a position on this recall. We have already taken a number of important steps to improve our communications with regulators and customers on safety-related matters as part of our strengthened overall commitment to quality assurance. These include the appointment of a new Chief Quality Officer for North America and a greater role for the region in making safety-related decisions.”
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