DOT seeks maximum civil penalty against Toyota

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation on Monday announced they are seeking the maximum civil penalty of $16,375 million against Toyota Motor Corp. for failing to notify NHTSA of a dangerous "sticky pedal" defect for at least four months.

NHTSA said its investigation revealed Toyota had knowledge of the sticky pedal defect since Sept. 29, 2009. That day, the Japan-based automaker ordered corrective procedures in Europe and Canada but not in the United States, although U.S. consumers had complained of sticky accelerator pedals that cause sudden increases in engine RPM and sudden vehicle acceleration. NHTSA currently is investigating whether Toyota committed additional violations that warrant further penalties.

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