TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. AGREES TO SETTLE NHTSA CIVIL PENALTY

TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. AGREES TO SETTLE NHTSA CIVIL PENALTY

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced today that it has agreed to settle the civil penalty demanded in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations April 5 letter related to the companys recall for slow-to-return and sticky accelerator pedals by paying $16.4 million. The company said:

“We agreed to this settlement in order to avoid a protracted dispute and possible litigation, as well as to allow us to move forward fully-focused on the steps to strengthen our quality assurance operations.

This will also allow us to focus on delivering safe, reliable, high quality vehicles for our customers and responding to consumer feedback with honesty and integrity. These have been core Toyota values for 70 years, and we pledge to make an even greater effort to adhere to this philosophy now and in the future. We also welcome a new, more transparent chapter in our relationship with NHTSA, consistent with our commitments to Congress and the American people.

“We regret that NHTSA tentatively concluded that they should seek a civil penalty. Toyota denies NHTSAs allegation that it violated the Safety Act or it’s implementing regulations.

“We believe we made a good faith effort to investigate this condition and develop an appropriate counter-measure. We have acknowledged that we could have done a
better job of sharing relevant information within our global operations and outside the company, but we did not try to hide a defect to avoid dealing with a safety problem.”

“We are already moving ahead with a number of important steps to strengthen our quality assurance operations and enhance our ability to meet customer expectations. As our actions since this recall was announced underscore, we are intensely focused on listening even more carefully to our customers and addressing any issues that emerge without delay. All of us at Toyota are grateful for our customers continued support, and we are determined to continue earning their trust.”

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.