Toyota to pay $32.4 million in extra fines
Latest settlement brings total penalties levied by U.S. to $48.8 million
By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis, the Department of Transportation announced late Monday night.
The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.
The latest settlement, on top of a $16.4 million fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation, brings the total penalties levied on the company to $48.8 million. It caps a difficult year for the world's No. 1 automaker, which recalled more than 11 million vehicles globally since the fall of 2009 as it scrambled to protect its reputation for safety and reliability.
Toyota's board of directors agreed to pay the fines on Tuesday at the company's board meeting in Japan. However, that does not free Toyota from potential civil and criminal penalties in private lawsuits and other federal investigations.