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AP source: Toyota to agree to $16.4 million fine

Apr 18, 2010 11:14:00 PM - thestate.com
Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to agree to a fine of more than $16 million, the largest government penalty levied against an automaker, for a four-month delay in telling federal authorities about defective gas pedals on its vehicles, a Transportation Department official said Sunday.

Toyota faces a Monday deadline to accept or contest the $16.4 million fine over evidence it knew about sticking gas pedals in September but did not issue a recall until January.

The Transportation official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity. The official said Toyota is expected to pay the full amount of the assessed fine within 30 days as a means of avoiding going to court against the government.

The official said Toyota did not intend to accept liability explicitly. But from the government's viewpoint, the official said, the agreement to pay the full fine constituted an acceptance of responsibility for hiding the safety defect in violation of the law.

Toyota did not immediately comment on the fine. Under federal law, automakers are required to notify the government within five business days when they find a potential safety defect.