Toyota Motor Corp was expected to agree Monday to pay a 16.4-million-dollar fine in the United States over allegations that it hid information about sticky gas pedals from US authorities, US media reports said.
The world’s largest automaker was not expected to admit guilt, the reports said late Sunday, citing an unnamed Transportation Department official.
Toyota is fighting a multitude of lawsuits related to its recalls this year of 8.5 million cars worldwide because of braking and acceleration problems, tarnishing its once-stellar global reputation for quality. The paying of the fine would not affect the lawsuits.
The 16.4-million-dollar fine is the highest the Transportation Department is allowed to levy. It would also be the largest fine ever paid by an automaker.
It relates to allegations that Toyota knew that some of its accelerators could become stuck or were slow to return when depressed at least four months before they notified US authorities of the problems in January. Automakers are allowed a maximum of five days to report safety problems to US authorities.
Toyota said it only knew of the problems in January, but in September it had issued repair notices in Europe and Canada over the sticky pedals.