Documents: Toyota Lagged in Issuing U.S. Warnings

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Documents obtained by The Associated Press show Toyota issued internal repair guidelines for sticking accelerator pedals in 31 European nations months before warning U.S. regulators.

Toyota issued the procedures on the same day it told the U.S. government it would conduct a recall over loose floor mats.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood earlier this week cited the Sept. 29 European warnings in his decision to assess a record $16.4 million fine on the Japanese automaker for failing to alert the U.S. LaHood says Toyota made a "huge mistake" by not disclosing safety problems with gas pedals on some of its most popular models sooner.

According to the documents, Toyota's European division issued technical information to the European distributors "identifying a production improvement and repair procedure."

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