Gov't Fines Toyota $16 Million

More tough times for Toyota: The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that it’s seeking a penalty of $16.375 million, after the beleaguered car company failed to notify the agency about its “sticky pedal” problem for four months. If the fine is approved, it will be the largest civil penalty ever enforced on an automaker by the government. The fine comes on the heels of evidence revealing Toyota had become aware of the gas pedal problems in late September but did not issue a recall until late January. Beginning today, Toyota will have two weeks to decide whether it will accept or contest the fine. “We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” said Transportation Secretary Ray 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.”