WASHINGTON (AP) - Toyota faces a maximum penalty of more than $16 million for failing to promptly notify the U.S. government about defective gas pedals among its vehicles.
That would be a record civil penalty against any automaker.
Toyota has recalled more than 6 million vehicles in the U.S and more than 8 million worldwide because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking shortcomings in the Prius hybrid.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says documents obtained from the Japanese automaker showed that Toyota knew of the problem with the sticking gas pedals in late September but did not issue a recall until late January.
The sticking gas pedal recall involved 2.3 million vehicles.
The automaker has two weeks to accept or contest the penalty.
©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.