Toyota Will Pay $16.4 Million for Recall Penalty

The world’s largest car maker has agreed to pay 16.4 million dollars for hiding safety defects and delaying recall of vehicles related to an accelerator pedal issue last January.toyota-recall-january-2010

Toyota did not notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about accelerator pedals in some of its vehicles that could stick and cause unwanted acceleration. Under the law, the company was required to notify the problem within five business days.

Reports indicate that the company already knew of the problem as early as September last year when it sent instructions on how to fix the problem to its European operations. Information reached NHTSA only last January 19.

The record settlement is just a part of the company’s safety crisis. Latest additions in its worries include the stopping of sales of Lexus GX 460 SUV and the recall of Sienna Minivan models.

Toyota, however, is still facing multiple lawsuits concerning allegations that the safety defect caused injuries.

The previous record for federal penalty by a car maker is 1 million dollars when General Motors delayed a windshield wiper recall in 2004.