Toyota is finding itself with a big bill to pay today, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hitting the company with a $17.35 million fine. The fine is based on safety defects discovered in 2010 Lexus RX 350s, though Toyota isn't getting fined simply because those defects exist. Instead, the company is getting hit with this fine because it allegedly failed to report these defects within the allowed window of five business days.
The safety defects in question center around the car's floor mats, which could potentially entangle gas pedals, thus causing some drivers to accelerate unintentionally. That, as you can imagine, is a rather big problem, and it's one that forced the company to recall 150,000 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450s after the defect was discovered earlier this year. The $17.35 million fine is as much as the NHTSA is legally allowed to levy, so you can tell that the organization takes things like this seriously.
Toyota has agreed to pay this fine, but denies that it actually violated the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Whether it did or didn't doesn't much matter now, as Toyota has not only signed an agreement to pay the fine - which is due in full within the next 30 days - but also to meet with the NHTSA every month for the next six months to show what it's doing to resolve these floor mat issues.
It could potentially get worse for Toyota too, as this agreement "does not release Toyota from civil or criminal liabilities," so government agencies could still hit the company with charges. We'll have to see where this whole thing goes in the coming weeks, but for now, it's clear that Toyota would just like to move on from this whole controversy. Check out our story timeline below for more on Toyota!
[via Business Insider]