According to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Toyota has agreed to pay a record fine of $16.4 million for failing to promptly disclose problems discovered with their accelerator pedal assemblies. The fine is the maximum amount allowed by law; without the limit in place, Toyota could have been fined up to $6,000 per vehicle affected, for a total fine of nearly $14 billion.
Secretary LaHood is considering a second fine of $16.4 million against Toyota, if the NHTSA can prove that the pedals have two separate and distinct defects. The original fine was levied for the sticking accelerator recall, but with Toyota blood in the water the agency is pondering a second fine for the trapped pedal issue related to floormats.
Toyota has until May 5th to pay the fine, which has no impact on lawsuits filed against Toyota for civil or criminal charges. Toyota is facing billions of dollars in lawsuits filed by crash victims and their families.