Documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that Toyota knew about defective floor mats and “sticky” accelerator pedals in 2006. Since 2006, approximately 50 people have been injured or died due to these Toyota vehicle defects. According to the Associated Press, Toyota chose to monitor the safety situation rather than publicly disclose the public safety hazards concerning the floor mats and accelerator pedals.
The NHTSA has decided to fine Toyota $16.375 million, the maximum penalty allowed by law, for Toyota’s failure to timely disclose the defects.
“We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “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.”
Toyota class action lawsuits will now be consolidated and heard in Orange County CA. 8.5 million Toyota vehicles have been recalled because of the defects.
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