Toyota will pay $180 million for violations of the Clean Air Act, the largest civil penalty for violating the Environmental Protection Agency’s reporting requirements.
The settlement resolves the environmental protection violations, which include delayed filing of reports about emissions-related defects. In 2016, Toyota first disclosed that it was under investigation for these delayed reports. The settlement itself includes a consent decree that requires Toyota to file semi-annual reports about its compliance to emissions regulations. This concludes a lengthy civil probe by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the government, the reporting requirements include disclosing potential defects and recalls affecting vehicle parts intended to control emissions.
“Toyota shut its eyes to the noncompliance, failing to provide proper training, attention, and oversight to its Clean Air Act reporting obligations,” the Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in New York told Automotive News. “Toyota’s actions undermined EPA’s self-disclosure system and likely led to delayed or avoided emission-related recalls, resulting in financial benefit to Toyota and excess emissions of air pollutants.”
The government initially wanted to make Toyota pay a much higher civil penalty.
“Toyota failed to report mandatory information about potential defects in their cars to the EPA, keeping the agency in the dark and evading oversight,” EPA Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine said. “EPA considers this failure to be a serious violation of the Clean Air Act.”
Volkswagen, Daimler Group and Fiat Chrysler have faced similar penalties in recent years.
Source: Automotive News