Toyota Paying Millions in Fines for Late Notice of Defects

The auto manufacturer failed to notify NHTSA that a recall was necessary within five days of discovery.

Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay $17.35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to report a safety defect in a timely manner. This is the largest fine paid for a violation relating to a recall.

Earlier this year, following an NHTSA Office of Defects investigation, it was discovered that there were complaints of the 2010 Lexus RX 350 having floor mat-related pedal entrapment defects.

"Safety is our highest priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "With today's announcement, I expect Toyota to rigorously reinforce its commitment to adhering to United States safety regulations."

Federal law requires auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA of safety defects within five days of discovering them and to immediately issue a recall. NHTSA contacted Toyota in May regarding the floor mat concern, one that Toyota's own technicians had noticed earlier. In June, Toyota issued a recall of 154,036 units of the Lexus model.

Toyota faced civil penalties in 2010, as well, and paid $48.8 million after three investigations into the company's recall practices.

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