Automotive News reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could hit Toyota with another fine on top of the $16.4 million levied last week. As for that most recent fine, turns out that it could have been as much as $13.8 billion, based on Toyota having to pay a fine on each of the 2.3 million cars recalled. A statute, however, limits the amount to the one imposed.

NHTSA isunhappy about the timelines it's putting together of events concerning Toyota's pedal defects. The agency is also miffed about the recent revelation that a Japanese Toyota executive sent a letter last October ordering that engineering changes to accelerator pedals not be carried out in America, even though they were being made in other countries. For the time being, though, Toyota hasn't yet confirmed whether it'll will contest the first fine, and it's clear what the possible second fine is meant to address. If all the involved parties would just get everything on the table, we might have a chance of wrapping this up in 2010.

[Source: Automotive News – sub req'd]