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Toyota Fined $17M for Delaying Lexus Recalls

Toyota has been slapped with a huge fine for delaying its June Lexus recall, reports USA Today.

The fine is a staggering $17.35 million, the largest allowable under the law. It stems from charges by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency charged with maintaining driver safety.

The fine is the fourth that Toyota has had to pay in the past three years, since the unintended acceleration problem came to light.

The current fine involves the June recall of 154,000 Lexus RX crossovers for unintended acceleration. The vehicles were either accelerating without a driver's foot on the gas pedal, or failed to slow down when a driver hit the brakes.

This problem isn't new and began back in 2009, when California Highway Patrol officer Mark Saylor and his family were involved a horrific accident in San Diego -- an accident which was all too unfortunately captured in a 911 call.

Toyota has faced much heat in the past few years and has not only had to sit through Congressional hearings on automotive safety, but has also paid more than $65 million in fines over charges that it wasn't acting quickly enough on recalls.

According to federal law, an automaker has five business days to report any known safety defect to NHTSA. Toyota allegedly took more than a month to report the safety concerns, NBC News reports.

Despite the fine, Toyota maintains that it did nothing wrong, reports Reuters. The auto manufacturer said in a statement that it was agreeing to the settlement but wasn't admitting to any violation of its U.S. safety obligations.

This isn't Toyota's only recent headache. Last month, the company recalled more than 2.7 million cars globally, for steering and water pump issues.

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