This summer, we brought you news that Lexus was recalling over 150,000 RX and RX hybrid crossovers tied to its massive pedal entrapment issue. An update to that story included word from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was considering launching a federal investigation into potential delays by the automaker in notifying owners about the problem. Now comes news that parent company Toyota will pay a hefty $17.35 million in fines for delaying its recall of the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h. According to The Detroit News, the Japanese automaker is being forced to pay the maximum fine for delaying recalls – and this isn't the first time. In fact, this is the fourth time since 2010 that Toyota has been required to do so, including paying $48.8M in civil penalties in 2010 for failing to recall vehicles in a timely manner – in three separate campaigns.

In addition to the fines, Toyota has agreed to restructure the way it handles quality control and review "safety-related issues." Though the Japanese automaker has not admitted any wrongdoing, Toyota has agreed to meet with NHTSA for six months on the matter and may extend the meetings another six months.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he is counting on Toyota to improve its ability to address such safety issues: "With today's announcement, I expect Toyota to rigorously reinforce its commitment to adhering to the United States safety regulations," he said in a statement.

According to the report, Toyota has recalled more vehicles than any other automaker so far this year – 5.3 million in 13 separate campaigns – putting it about two million units ahead of second-place Honda.

This latest fine is a drop in the bucket compared to Toyota's expected global profits of $9.7 billion by the end of March, 2013. That said, Congress has already agreed to a new fine that will push the maximum penalty for delayed recalls up to $35 million. This increase will take effect in 2013.


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  • 53 Comments
      foobar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota should learn a thing or two from Google ;)
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      NHTSA is drunk with power. The floor mat recall was found out to be total crap and they're still fined...amazing. Shouldn't NHTSA be busy mandating safety belts in school buses or something? Meanwhile Ford's recalling the 1.6L turd for a third time over potential fire risk...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho
        [blocked]
          Connor Murphy
          • 2 Years Ago
          Of course Toyota has more recalls than Ford - Toyota is proactive with their recalls rather than reactive, which Ford is. Toyota searches for problems to make sure their vehicles are safe and fixes them ahead of time rather than waiting for a major problem and then recalling to save their butts like Ford. This is why Toyota does recalls for floor mats and Ford does them for issues that kill the car, driver, or both.
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          John Montgomery
          • 2 Years Ago
          Dumb dong, Ford is far from proactive. Take the recent Ford Escape on July 26, 2012 for stuck throttles resulting in at least one death of a teenage girl. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/relatedRecallsummary.cfm?INV_ID=PE12019&recallIdlist=12V353000,12V357000&ModuleType=Vehicles Prior to the 2012 recall, Ford recalled the Escape in 2004 for stuck throttles. In typical Ford fashion, they did a subpar job. After the recall, around August 15, 2005 the first complaint was filed in reference to complainant saying her car still had a stuck throttle and accelerate to speeds around 100 MPH. See complaint 10132929. The next complaint lodged under complaint number 10147995 on January 16, 2006 shows another complainant saying her vehicle was not covered under the last recall but her vehicle was experience a stuck throttle. Yet, it took the death of a teenager for Ford to issue a recall some 7 years later. I guess they didn’t learn from the firestone fiasco. (Yes Ford knew about the firestone tires, yet failed to protect over 135 people who died as a result) http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/complaints/results.cfm http://fordexplorerrollover.com/explorer_rollovers/Default.cfm Firestone is a great example of Ford not being proactive. Since you want to bring up the Tacoma rust issues we should bring up the ford cruise control fires resulting in 14.1 million vehicles recalled the largest in history. Year 2009 http://www.rpmgo.com/11-biggest-auto-recalls-in-history Here we are in 2012 and ford still has issues with their cruise control even after the massive recall: http://news.consumerreports.org/safety/2012/07/feds-probe-cruise-control-cables-on-ford-escape-and-mazda-tribue-suvs.html
          JDM
          • 2 Years Ago
          Steve, If you had half a brain you would know that toyota uses far fewer suppliers than Ford. Toyota has issued fewer recalls affecting more cars. Ford has had a ton recalls mostly for fires. That huge recall from Toyota was for an idiot putting flammable grease on the window motor. Like John said Ford has yet to completely fix their cruise control issues. 2009 they issued a recall on 14.1 million cars. Get back to work at Dearborn they don't like you posting on the UAW dime. Apparently you missed this: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/safety-agency-widens-inquiry-on-ford-floor-mats/ There are a lot of issues pertaining to Ford and unintended acceleration. Like the death of 17 year old girl driving her ford fire escape. Google the issue.
          Steve
          • 2 Years Ago
          Ford's recalls have been frequent lately but of smaller volumes because they are catching the problem before several million are out on the roads...... Toyota just recalled 7.43 million vehicles a month ago!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        Presumably there were about 50 deaths related to tayata's unintended acceleration problem you idiot moron!!!
          Get a life
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carfan
          Yea over 130 deaths from the Ford firestone recall. Documents show Ford knew of the issue and did NOTHING! So STFU and get off this board. I am sure there is a an ecoboom on fire somewhere.
        mikoprivat
        • 2 Years Ago
        to get a life/hkpro...you aborted inbred idiot...the tyre thing was an issue caused by Firestone (another japanese company) and not caused by Ford...so STFU and get off this forum you peasant american
      carfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...and if tayata doesn't like it, they call sell their garbage in China...oh wait, they don't want their garbage at all!!!, well sell your garbage in Europe...oh wait, we Europeans don't want their garbage either. I guess there are enough idiots in america then who would buy their garbage. It's worth the 17mil
        FIDTRO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Boring cars for boring people.
        NamorF-Pro
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carfan
        American cars are the most rubbish machines ever to see sunlight. Haters be hatin' smh
          Tone
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NamorF-Pro
          "Rubbish" is people using phrases like "haters be hatin'"... Looks like you like some things that come from America, like stupid colloquial phrases.
        X8664
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Yep, only Americans like this garbage. People in Europe and China have better taste than americans
          Red
          • 2 Years Ago
          @X8664
          What the hell are you talking about. Chinese are known for liking cheap and fake products.
      David MacGillis
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some folks don't seem to get it.. It isn't the deaths, it's the failure to report defects and the systematic approach taken by Toyota to hide safety issues.
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David MacGillis
        YOU don't get it. Why is the NHTSA picking on Toyota with these fines when Ford has found to pull this same crap off time and time again with NO FINES.
      Sheldon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow I cannot help but be nonplussed by the cluelessness of some fanatics. "Of course Toyota has more recalls than Ford - Toyota is proactive with their recalls rather than reactive, which Ford is. Toyota searches for problems to make sure their vehicles are safe and fixes them ahead of time rather than waiting for a major problem and then recalling to save their butts like Ford. This is why Toyota does recalls for floor mats and Ford does them for issues that kill the car, driver, or both." -Connor Murphy The tenacity to defend your brand loyalty with statements the very article puts lie to is amazing! Do they read the title of the article and somehow turn it around in their brains to read "Toyota, so quick with recalls the NHTSA pays them!" ? The mental disconnect is staggering. /blown away
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sheldon
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Kahz
          • 2 Years Ago
          If they've made the decision to buy those cars and are happy about it, then no need to attack them and call them 'morons'.
        Avinash Machado
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sheldon
        Fanboys will always defend their brand no matter what.
      Famsert
      • 2 Years Ago
      On June 30, 2010, a presentation by the NHTSA to the Transportation Research Board showed that they KNEW Ford had higher unintended acceleration complaints than Toyota pre-Oct 09 (before the media circus created a publicity effect). Toyota had up to 1.4k complaints. Ford had almost 2.5k complaints. The data is listed on slide 18 of the "Study of Electronic Vehicle Controls and Unintended Acceleration" found below: onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/ua/100630DOTSlides.pdf The NHTSA proceeded to drag its feet in investigating Ford. It also proceeded to not even MENTION Ford in its press releases on unintended acceleration fully knowing they had even more complaints than Toyota! The NHTSA has not fined Ford. Ford hasn't even had massive recalls to fix all the problems like Toyota has. Yet we see the Toyota haters here claiming that Toyota is the one company here that has delayed recalls so that's why they're fined? Amazing how absolutely naive some folks here are.
      bubciak
      • 2 Years Ago
      What about lost life's
        MKIV
        • 2 Years Ago
        @bubciak
        Do you know something we don't? Who died in an RX due to this issue?
      Famsert
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is hilarious. Ford STILL has not recalled their unintended acceleration-affected vehicles and the NHTSA is fining Toyota again? Ridiculous. Ford better be getting a massive fine in the near future.
        NamorF-Pro
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Famsert
        Those 17 mil are good for the US economy so they fine the foreign companies.
      NamorF-Pro
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good example of a corrupt government. Hey officials, it's called research. Duh huh!! It takes time and money that y'all are so craving for.
      X8664
      • 2 Years Ago
      ******* poor ass Americans are fining foreign businesses left and right because it is broke. **** these American idiots
        kontroll
        • 2 Years Ago
        @X8664
        nobody is forcing foreign businesses to sell their **** in America...they can sell their garbage in asia and europe
      FIDTRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Even after the company is found to be guilty and unethical, people still go out and buy this garbage. God bless America.
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