U.S. seeks $16.4 Million Civil Fine Against Toyota

The Transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, said Monday that the federal government would seek a $16.375 million civil fine, the largest allowed, against Toyota Motor over a recall of sticking accelerator pedals on 2.3 million vehicles.

Mr. LaHood, in a statement, said the company had failed to promptly notify the government when it learned of problems with vehicles elsewhere in the world.

If the fine were levied, it would be the largest civil penalty assessed by the government against a car company, although fines against other companies, like airlines, have been far higher.

Under the law, Toyota has two weeks to accept or contest the fine. It has not replied to the department, a Transportation spokeswoman said. If the company decided to fight the penalty, the government could seek to have it imposed in court.

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