Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis.
The civil penalties will settle probes into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could become trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.
The latest settlement, on top of a $16.4 million fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation, brings the total penalties levied on the company to $48.8 million. It caps a difficult year for the world’s No. 1 automaker, which recalled more than 11 million vehicles globally since fall 2009 as it scrambled to protect its reputation for safety and reliability.
Toyota’s board of directors agreed at a meeting Tuesday to pay the fines, according to an official, and the carmaker said it agreed to the penalties without admitting to any violations of U.S. laws. However, that doesn’t free Toyota from potential civil and criminal penalties in private lawsuits and other federal investigations.