CNN reports that “Toyota has agreed to pay more than $32 million in penalties after two federal investigations that faulted the Japanese automaker for its handling of recent auto recalls.” This announcement came from the U.S. Transportation Department this past Monday.
According to CNN, the Transportation Department announced these fines “are the steepest allowed by law.” The news source explains the two fines add up to $32.4 million, with one at $16.375 million and the other totaling $16.05 million.
The CNN story explains these fines “come amid on ongoing investigation that Toyota did not comply with federal requirements when it came to reporting safety defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” According to CNN, these most recent penalties come in addition to a $16.375 million fine Toyota paid in April “for failing to notify the safety officials within five days of learning of the ‘sticky pedal’ effect, which caused some of its cars to accelerate with no way to slow down.”
CNN reports that both the Transportation Department and Toyota said they were pleased with these recent legal settlements. According to the news source, “Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood applauded the settlement, saying he expects ‘Toyota to work cooperatively in the future to ensure consumers’ safety.’”
In a statement released by Toyota’s chief quality officer for North America, Steve St. Angelo, CNN reports the company said it was “‘pleased to have resolved these legacy issues.’” St. Angelo went on to explain that “‘These agreements are an opportunity to turn the page to an even more constructive relationship with (federal safety authorities) and focus even more on listening to our customers and meeting their high expectations for safe and reliable vehicles,’” CNN reports.
However, CNN reports this latest announcement is just one “in a string of recent setbacks for Toyota.” Most recently, this November “Toyota announced a ‘limited service campaign’ to fix cooling pumps on 378,000 Toyota Prius hybrid cars in North America,” while a California federal judge “tentatively ruled that dozens of Toyota vehicle owners who filed a class-action lawsuit against the automaker over alleged mechanical defects can proceed with their case,” CNN explains.
According to CNN, the class-action suit is “the first major U.S. civil action against Toyota since the automaker recalled millions of vehicles stemming from ‘sudden unexpected acceleration’ and brake defects.”
If you or a loved one owns one of the affected Toyota models and have experienced problems with sudden unintended acceleration or stuck accelerators, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with automobile recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
CNN Wire Staff. (December 21, 2010) “Toyota to pay U.S. $32.4 million over recalls.” Retrieved on December 22, 2010 from CNN.