Toyota Agrees to Pay $17.35 Million Fine For Delay in Recalling Defective Vehicles

Two years after recalling millions of cars worldwide, a popular automotive company has agreed to pay a fine totaling more than $17 million. This is the maximum amount that a company can be fined for a single violation.

As USA Today is reporting , this is the fourth recall fine that Toyota has paid in the last two years. The latest $17.5 million fine will settle a federal claim relating to the company’s delay in reporting problems with its Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h crossover SUV models.

More than 154,000 Lexus SUV’s and nearly 11,000 crossovers were recalled because of the potential for the floor mat to get trapped in the gas pedal. Our Chicago car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are warning that a trapped gas pedal can cause accidental acceleration, which in turn can lead to deadly accidents.

Although Toyota agreed to pay the fine, it did not admit to fault. A Toyota representative said the manufacturer agreed to the settlement in order to quickly resolve what could turn into a very long dispute. He also said that the company would continue to reinforce its data collection and assessment procedure to ensure that it was ready to take speedy action to meet customers’ requirements.

The fines related to recalls for gas pedal entrapment by floor mats and sticky gas pedals that could cause accidental acceleration, along with the potential for a steering rod problem that could cause loss of steering control.

The law allows an automaker five business days to inform government regulators of a safety defect. Transportation safety officials examined complaints concerning the latest mat issues in the Lexus SUVs and contacted Toyota representatives on May 23, 2010. However, the car company did not report any knowledge of floor mat problems until June 22, even though it knew of more than 60 incidents in which the floor mats trapped gas pedals.

In other recall news, Hyundai Motor Co. is recalling 13,500 of its 2012 Veloster models due to defective sunroofs that can suddenly break while the vehicle is moving.

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