Toyota made all kinds of news during its recall woes, with one headline item being the record-breaking $32.4 million civil penalty it paid to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The charge was levied by NHTSA because it considered Toyota tardy in announcing its recalls, and was almost twice the additionally record-setting $16.4 million fine that Toyota paid to address the recall itself. According to a report in Reuters, though, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland believes that such fines aren’t strong enough deterrents for automakers.
Currently the maximum fine the NHTSA can levy per infraction is $17 million. Due to last year’s climate catastrophes, Toyota’s profit for its 2011-2012 fiscal year is expected to drop 42 percent from the year before, but this month the company issued a projection of