Toyota has agreed to pay a record fine in the US of $32.4m (£20.8m) over its handling of millions of car recalls. This is the second massive fine the Japanese car manufacturer will pay to US authorities, after agreeing a $16.4m penalty in April.
Toyota said it was “pleased to have resolved these legacy issues”, while at the same time not admitting any US law violations.
Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles globally since September 2009, issuing 14 recalls in 2010 alone.
The latest fine also refers to recalls made in 2005 concerning steering defects in nearly one million vehicles.
“These agreements are an opportunity to turn the page to an even more constructive relationship with the [US] National Highway Safety Administration [NHSA] and focus even more on listening to our customers and meeting their high expectations for safe and reliable vehicles,” said Steve St Angelo, Toyota’s chief quality officer in North America.
He added that the carmaker had “substantially strengthened” its ability to investigate customer concerns in recent months.
US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also said he was “pleased that Toyota agreed to pay the maximum possible penalty”.
In September last year, Toyota recalled 4 million cars after fears that the accelerator pedal could get stuck on the floor mat, while in January this year, it recalled a further 2.3 million cars to fix potentially faulty accelerator pedals.
In August, it recalled a further 1.1 million Corolla and Matrix models over an engine control system fault, and in October it called in more than 1.5 million cars over brake and fuel pump defects.
The car maker was harshly criticised over the earlier recalls for not acting more quickly as the NHSA said Toyota had not reported the defects to it within the stipulated time allowed.
Source: BBC News