NHTSA Seeks to Make Toyota Pay $16.4 Million Fine for Not Reporting Sticky Pedal Defect ASAP

More trouble for Toyota Motor Corporation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking the maximum civil fine—$16.4 million—against the auto manufacturer for failing to notify the agency about the “sticky pedal” auto defect—per federal regulations—within five days of finding out that a safety problem existed.
Through documents obtained from Toyota, the NHTSA found out that the car manufacturer knew about the gas pedal defect as early as September 2009. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says Toyota knowingly concealed the dangerous auto defect and failed to protect millions of motorists and their families.
Some 2.3 million vehicles have been recalled over the sticking gas pedal defect. Acceleration problems, ill-fitting floor mats, gas pedals that need to be redesigned, and brake defects have resulted in the recall of millions of other Toyota vehicles in recent months. The NHTSA is looking into whether Toyota committed additional violations and if more fines are warranted.
Auto Products Liability
Our auto products liability lawyers offer free consultation to victims of Toyota acceleration accidents. Already, more than 100 car accident deaths are now being blamed on Toyota’s acceleration problems with its vehicles. NHTSA records show that 102 police reports and auto products liability complaints have been filed against Toyota. TheLos Angeles Times says that is nearly two times as many as what was reported in January.
While Toyota has blamed the gas pedal defect as a possible cause of the unintended acceleration crashes that resulted in personal injuries and wrongful deaths, federal investigators are not entirely convinced. Last month, LaHood announced that the NHTSA and the National Academy of Sciences will separately examine the issue of unintended vehicle acceleration involving motor vehicles in general. NASA’s investigation will take a look at all potential causes of unintended acceleration, including computer hardware design, mechanical failure, electronic vehicle controls, software, as well as electromagnetic compatibility and interference.
If a car accident resulting in wrongful death or serious personal injuries was caused by an auto defect, the negligent automaker can be held liable for auto products liability. That’s where we come in.
U.S. seeks $16.4 million fine against Toyota, CNN Money, April 5, 2010
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Major Investigations to Resolve Issue of Sudden Acceleration, NHTSA, March 30, 2010
Toyotas’ sudden acceleration blamed for more deaths, Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2010
Toyota recall: Are sticky gas pedals the real culprit?, The Christian Science Monitor, February 3, 2010
Related Web Resources:
National Academy of Sciences
Toyota Motor Corporation

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