Toyota slapped with record penalty

From Times staff and wires

Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to pay record fines totaling $32.425 million for failing to notify safety regulators of potential safety defects, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

The department accused Toyota of failing to tell safety officials immediately of a tendency for floor mats to entrap accelerator pedals, which can cause sudden acceleration. Separately, the department said, Toyota failed to inform officials of a potentially dangerous steering defect that could cause vehicles to lose control.

The fines are in addition to a $16.4 million penalty the automaker agreed to pay in April for a similar violation.