Toyota Could Face a Second U.S. Fine

The first fine was for $16.4 million for not disclosing facts faster on involuntary acceleration.

The National Highway Transport Safety Administration could slap another fine on Toyota after the $16.4 million penalty it imposed for the Japanese carmaker's not disclosing facts faster on involuntary acceleration.

The first fine was imposed after a Department of Transportation review of 70,000 pages of documents found Toyota "knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families."

And in a letter to Toyota obtained on April 10 by Agence France Presse, the NHTSA warned Toyota it was considering a second penalty.

Toyota recalled more than nine million vehicles worldwide including more than six million in the United States mainly for involuntary acceleration problems but also for some faulty brakes on some hybrid vehicles.

Problems related to sudden, unintended acceleration that have been blamed for more than 50 U.S. deaths and resulted in the recall of more than eight million vehicles worldwide.

Toyota is facing at least 97 lawsuits seeking damages for injury or death linked to sudden acceleration and 138 class action lawsuits from angry customers suing to recoup losses in the resale value of Toyota vehicles following the recalls.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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