It turns out that all those Toyota hearings, inquiries and investigations launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and the Department of Transportation did result in something worthwhile for the average consumer.
The NHTSA and DOT revealed that it will fine Toyota with $16.4 million, the maximum penalty allowed in this scenario, for delaying the recall of millions of vehicles affected by unintended acceleration problems.
“We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” said Secretary LaHood. “Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families. For those reasons, we are seeking the maximum penalty possible under current laws.”
According to LaHood, evidence points out that Toyota knew about these problems as early as September 2009, but decided to take action on January, 2010. The Japanese company has two weeks to issue its answer, either pay up the fine or attack the decision.
No word on what the money attained will be used for, but reports of throwing it up in the air to the tune of Lil Wayne ft. Fat Joe – Make It Rain might be onto something. You can be sure that we’ll let you know about Toyota’s reaction as it is made public.