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Toyota to pay $17.4 million fine for mishandling Lexus recall

This is the fourth penalty against the automaker since 2009 for its slow response in handling recalls.

By Exhaust Notes Dec 18, 2012 7:45AM
Toyota will pay the U.S. government a $17.4 million fine for its slow response in recalling the 2010 Lexus RX earlier this year, the automaker said Tuesday morning.

This is the fourth fine levied against the company by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; it has already paid $48.8 million for three separate recall violations involving trapped floor mats and sticking throttle pedals in 2010. As with the past three fines, Toyota said it did not violate any safety regulations but decided to pay the settlement "in order to avoid a time-consuming dispute and to focus fully on our shared commitment with NHTSA to keep drivers safe."

In June, Toyota recalled 154,000 cars, the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h, to prevent throttles from sticking under poorly placed floor mats. The vehicles were part of an initial 2009 recall that covered around 9 million cars worldwide. The problem, NHTSA said, was that Toyota was aware of 63 related problems as early as 2009 and did not report them until contacted by the agency in May.

No other automaker has faced such a record fine, NHTSA said.

Toyota is still facing hundreds of civil lawsuits alleging sudden acceleration and, in some tragic cases, wrongful deaths, that won't begin to go to court until next year, according to Automotive News. Toyota, which has refused to settle cases, reportedly has so many supporting documents to fight back that they would stack as high as eight Empire State Buildings.

[Source: Toyota, NHTSA]
158Comments
Dec 18, 2012 10:56AM
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Honda and Ford have both announced recalls that will affect more than 175,000 cars. The defects could lead to injuries if not addressed and some experts have recommended owners not drive one of the models in question until repaired. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda will begin servicing up to 173,000 2013 Acura ILX sedans and 2012 Honda CR-V SUVs due to... 
Dec 18, 2012 10:51AM
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So after all is said and done GO BUY ANOTHER TOYOTA!!!!!!
Dec 18, 2012 10:51AM
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MY ? IS WHAT IF U HAVE HAD PROBLEMS WITH UR AUTO AND U PAY OUT ALL THIS MONEY TO GET IT FIXED BEFORE THE RECALL U EAT THAT BILL NO REINBERCEMENT UR SCREWED

U SHOLD AT LEAST GET SOME OF THE THAT MONEY

Dec 18, 2012 10:49AM
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If we fine all the automakers for the mistakes they make and then pass along to us in their prices, maybe we could make a dent in the national debt !
Dec 18, 2012 10:48AM
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$17.4 million is nothing to Toyota.  Toyota sees the fee as a nuisance.   
Dec 18, 2012 10:47AM
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Guess who end up paying for that fine ???
Dec 18, 2012 10:46AM
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Learned one thing from my wife haveing worked for the Japanese for 14 years, they never admit the truth.
Dec 18, 2012 10:45AM
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Have owned 15 American cars in 30 years used and new  never had a problem other than basic repairs brakes tune ups etc run them up to 100K +

 People I know with Hondas and Toyotas lots of issues. Lets support America folks!! novel idea Wont get caught dead driving a Japanese car!

Dec 18, 2012 10:44AM
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Ive had mine since may of 2010 no problem with gas pedal and floor mats...How about putting them back in correctly when you clean them and this will not  happen, Sounds like a scamathon by some disgruntled owner.
Dec 18, 2012 10:41AM
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I own 2006 toyota tacoma which is included in floor mat recall...I have never had a problem with floor mats which leads me to believe the problem is the operator.  Toyotas are great vehicles last forever and give very little problems.  All manufactures have recalls, because all the parts are made in China, maybe they should be looking at the parts manufactures and not the auto manufactures. Stop making bad parts in China and you will solve the problem.

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