Toyota has agreed to pay more than $32 million in penalties after two federal investigations that faulted the Japanese automaker for its handling of recent auto recalls, the U.S. Transportation Department announced Monday night.
“Safety is our top priority and we take our responsibility to protect consumers seriously,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “I am pleased that Toyota agreed to pay the maximum possible penalty and I expect Toyota to work cooperatively in the future to ensure consumers’ safety.”
Toyota said it agreed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fines without admitting any violation of law.
“Toyota is pleased to have resolved these legacy issues related to the timeliness of prior recalls dating back to 2005. All 30,000 of our U.S. team members, and the tens of thousands of Americans at dealers and suppliers across the country, have worked very hard over the past year to put these issues behind us and set a new standard of responsiveness to our customers,” said Steve St. Angelo.
The settlements conclude a tumultuous year for the world’s largest automaker over the recalls of 11 million vehicles in the United States.
However, Toyota said separately on Tuesday it planned to boost its group-wide global vehicle sales by 3 percent to 8.61 million units in 2011, led by 9 percent growth in the United States to 1.90 million vehicles.