The AP [via Google] reports that Toyota’s board has voted to pay $32.4m on top of the $16.4 it already paid the US Department of Transportation in connection with its handling of several recalls. The first involved Toyota’s handling of gas-pedal entrapment by floormats in its vehicles that were part of the Unintended Acceleration scandal earlier this year. The other involved steering rods in certain 4Runners and T-100 pickups that were not recalled despite a 2004 Japanese market recall for the same parts on Hilux pickups.
In both cases, Toyota has agreed to pay the maximum fine, adjusted for inflation, giving Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood cause for ebullience.Mr “Stop Driving Your Toyota” enthuses:
Safety is our top priority and we take our responsibility to protect consumers seriously. I am pleased that Toyota agreed to pay the maximum possible penalty and I expect Toyota to work cooperatively in the future to ensure consumers’ safety
Otherwise they can expect another run-in with the only Americans who can’t be sued for slander. Even though investigations by DOT and the National Academy of Sciences into the causes of Unintended Acceleration in Toyotas won’t release their conclusions until late next year. Still, Toyota is putting a pragmatic face on a fine that pales in comparison to its $3.58b first-half profit this year, saying
These agreements are an opportunity to turn the page to an even more constructive relationship with NHTSA
That’s the spirit!