An AP investigation has found that Toyota waited nearly a year after a 2004 recall in Japan to issue the same recall in the U.S.– claiming that it had little evidence of a U.S. problem. The AP says, however, that the automaker had received at least 52 reports from U.S. drivers about a steering defect in trucks and SUVs.
The gap between the Japanese and U.S. recalls has triggered a new review by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which could fine the automaker up to $16.4 million.
NHTSA has linked 16 crashes, three deaths and seven injuries to the steering defect.
Toyota waited months to issue ’05 steering recall [Businessweek]