Toyota is expected to agree today to pay a record $16.4 million US fine after a 4-month delay in reporting the "sticky pedal" defect that led to a massive recall. Toyota has decided not to challenge the government penalty, but will not admit it knowingly hid evidence of defects from safety regulators, which is expected to make its defense in civil lawsuits easier, reports the Wall Street Journal.
"It is Toyota saying, 'We will pay, but won't admit we should pay,'" said a plaintiff's lawyer. But government officials wanted to avoid the lengthy legal battle that likely would have ensued if Toyota had challenged the fine. "By paying the full penalty, Toyota is accepting responsibility for hiding this safety defect in violation of the law," said a Transportation Department source.
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