In the wake of another troubled year of recalls for one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, Toyota has agreed to pay a maximum fine of $17.35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after it was reported that the company failed to announce a recall in a timely manner earlier this year. The recall in question involves approximately 154,036 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h vehicles that were targeted over concerns of floor mat pedal entrapment, according to the NHTSA.
Automobile manufacturers ultimately have five business days to report a defect or failure to comply with federal standards to the NHTSA, or else they will face such a penalty. The NHTSA originally contacted Toyota about this potential safety concern in the aforementioned Lexus models in May; however, Toyota didn’t acknowledge 63 alleged reports of entrapment to the NHTSA until the next month. Because of this violation, Toyota was held accountable for the maximum fine under federal law. While the company has agreed to pay the full amount, spokesperson Ray Tanguay, the chief quality officer for Toyota North America contends that this agreement was merely a matter of saving time.
“Toyota is dedicated to the safety of our customers,” he said, “and we continue to strengthen our data collection and evaluation process to ensure we are prepared to take swift action to meet customers’ needs. We agreed to this settlement in order to avoid a time-consuming dispute and to focus fully on our shared commitment with NHTSA to keep drivers safe.”
This payment comes hot on the heels of the $25.5 million settlement that Toyota issued to its American shareholders in November, connected to the company’s infamous recalls of 2009 and 2010. The shareholders filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Toyota failed to completely disclose the information surrounding those recalls involving unintended acceleration, as they made international headlines. Because of those recalls, Toyota eventually agreed to pay out a total of $48.8 million as a result of three separate investigations, in addition to the most recent class action settlement.
This year hasn’t been one to remember for the makers of some of the world’s most popular vehicles, including the Camry, Corolla and Prius, as Toyota announced the largest worldwide recall in 16 years back in October. That recall involved approximately 2.4 million vehicles in the U.S., as well as another 5 million worldwide, as there were concerns over defective power window switches causing fires.
Only four years removed from a global recall campaign that cost Toyota Motor Corp. its status as the worldwide leader in automobile sales, the Japanese manufacturer is probably not enjoying 2012 as much as it would have hoped. Read more
Yesterday, Toyota Motor Corp. officially closed the door on perhaps the automobile manufacturer’s most embarrassing series of events since the company was founded in 1937. Three years ago, the world’s most popular car company recalled more than 10 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles over defects that caused sudden, unintended acceleration, and cost Toyota a reported $5 billion in the process. Read more
While it’s not quite on par with the recent major automobile recalls by Ford Motor Co., which recalled 154,604 Fiestas for failure to meet federal airbag standards, or Chrysler Group LLC, which recalled 744,822 Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee vehicles for defective airbags, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Read more
It took four years, but Toyota Motor Corp. managed to return to the top of the global automobile manufacturing mountain, as the company expects to sell approximately 9.7 million vehicles in 2012. Toyota fell from grace with consumers in 2008 and 2009 after the company announced a number of recalls that ended up involving more than 11 million vehicles, including the immensely popular Camry and Corolla models because of issues leading to unintended acceleration. Read more
Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced two separate recalls over side curtain air bags that may fail to deploy in the event of a crash. Honda recalled 347 of its 2012 Accord and Crosstour hatchback models, while Toyota recalled 427 of its 2011 Rav4 vehicles. Read more
Last year we saw one of the biggest, and most controversial, issues in recent automotive safety history with Toyota and reports of sudden unintended acceleration. Toyota blamed car mats, gas pedal moisture, and even driver error for the eruption of unintended acceleration incidents. Numerous deaths, injuries, and fines are alleged in various lawsuits to have been caused by this vehicle issue, and from November 2009 to February 2011, Toyota carried out a worldwide recall of 14 million vehicles. Read more
USA Today reports that due to a steering problem, Toyota Motors is recalling about 550,000 of its vehicles worldwide. “The defect involves the crankshaft pulley on V-6 Toyota- and Lexus-brand vehicles — four-cylinder models are not affected,” the news source reports. Of the 550,000 vehicles recalled, 420,000 are in the U.S.
According to USA Today, the auto maker claims that it has received 79 reports of this defect “dating back to 2007.” However, the company did explain that no related injuries or accidents have been reported. Read more
According to an MSNBC article, “Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay $10 million to the family of four people killed in a runaway Lexus crash that led to recalls of millions of the automaker’s vehicles.”
MSNBC reports that Toyota refused to admit or deny legal responsibility and “fought to keep the settlement amount confidential.” However, the news source explains “the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press argued that the public’s interest in the case outweighed confidentiality concerns,” and the sum was disclosed. Read more