The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to announce today that Toyota will agree to pay $16.4 million over its failure to notify the government about the defects that led to recalls of millions of vechicles earlier this year. The company apparently knew about the problems for several months before reporting them to regulators; it should have done so within five days.
The fine, levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is the largest ever assessed by the agency against a single manufacturer. While it won’t put the automaker in the poorhouse, it may bolster claims by plaintiffs that have filed suits against the company. According to Bloomberg:
The fine, which amounts to less than 2 percent of Toyota’s projected net income for the year ended March 31, may bolster the case for plaintiffs seeking compensation from the Japanese carmaker. At least 180 consumer and shareholder lawsuits are seeking class-action status and at least 57 individual suits are claiming injuries or deaths caused by sudden acceleration incidents in Toyota vehicles.
Toyota has 30 days to pay the fine.
Toyota Said to Agree to Pay $16.4 Million U.S. Fine [Bloomberg.com]