Toyota’s customer satisfaction woes continue to climb. On April 5, 2010, Toyota US may face a $16.4 Million fine for the delay in announcing the recall of Toyota vehicles over accelerator pedal flaws.
The US government claims that Toyota was hiding the defect and was slow to report it. Under federal law, automakers must notify NHTSA within five days of determining that a safety defect exists and promptly conduct a recall. It is claimed that Toyota knew of the sticky pedals as early as September 2009 but only issued the recall in January 2010.
The US government has conducted congressional hearings and a criminal investigation. There may be additional penalties announced depending on the findings of investigators.
One interesting note, is that the $16.375 Million penalty is the maximum the US government can levy.
Toyota has 2 weeks to agree to pay the fine or contest it.
This action will also be a warning to other auto manufacturers and manufacturers in general about the seriousness of dealing with customer satisfaction and safety issues. Customer satisfaction issues will bleed over into government action when it is severe enough.
Please leave your comments below.