Toyota Motor Corp., which has already paid record fines in connection with well-documented problems with sudden, unintended acceleration in its vehicles, has been ordered to pay another $17.35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA regulators ordered Toyota to pay the fine for not recalling Lexus RX 350s and RX 450h sport-utility vehicles quickly after learning that floor mats in these vehicles could jam the gas pedal and cause sudden acceleration.
NHTSA administrator David Strickland said, “It’s critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers report safety defects in a timely manner. Every moment of delay has the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation’s highways.”
According to federal law, automakers are required to notify the NHTSA within five days of learning about a safety defect or that a vehicle is not in compliance with safety standards and issue a recall.
Ray Tanguay, chief quality officer of Toyota North America, responded to the NHTSA’s statement, saying, “We agreed to this settlement in order to avoid a time-consuming dispute and to focus fully on our shared commitment with NHTSA to keep drivers safe. Toyota is dedicated to the safety of our customers, and we continue to strengthen our data collection and evaluation process to ensure we are prepared to take swift action to meet customers’ needs.”
Regular readers of this blog will recall that Toyota was ordered to pay a record $48.8 million in fines two years ago in connection with three separate incidents of pedal entrapment problems, sticking accelerator pedals and steering relay rod problems in their vehicles.
The recent fine resulted from an inquiry conducted by NHTSA investigators after they detected a trend in floor mat pedal entrapment in 2010 Lexus RX 350 models. The investigators asked Toyota about the problems last May, and the automaker told them about 63 alleged incidents of possible floor mat pedal entrapment in 2010 Lexus RX 350s dating back to 2009. However, Toyota did not issue the recall to address the problems until June, when they recalled 154,036 2010 Lexus RX 350 and 2010 RX 450h vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by floor mat pedal entrapment or another type of unintended acceleration, you may be entitled to damages. For more information about your rights and legal options, call Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham today at 800-425-2004. Mr. Cunningham has a proven record of success helping clients receive compensation dating back to 1977 and is one of the most experienced and accomplished Orlando Toyota recall attorneys in Florida.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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