Toyota set to pay $180m fine for Clean Air Act ‘serious violations’

*The Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency, in the United States, have accused automaker Toyota of ‘evading oversight’ through vehicle emissions disclosure failures for at least 10 years

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For failing to report mandatory information about potential defects in its brand of cars to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while keeping the agency in the dark and evading oversight for at least a decade, Toyota is set to pay a $180 million fine.

The failure represents a “serious violation” of Clean Air Act rules, EPA stated.

Audrey Strauss, Acting US Attorney in Manhattan, in a statement said: “Toyota’s actions undermined the EPA’s self-disclosure system and likely led to delayed or avoided emissions-related recalls.”

Cars Pollution  Photo: MomscleanAirforce.Org

The regulatory agency disclosed that between 2005 and 2015, Toyota “failed to report mandatory information about potential defects in their cars to the EPA, keeping the agency in the dark and evading oversight.”

The defects affected how Toyota’s vehicles controlled tailpipe emissions, report noted.

Following the disclosure failure, the EPA said Toyota benefited financially from being able to avoid emission-related recalls.

Meanwhile, the environment suffered due to excessive air pollution from its vehicles, it said.

According to EPA, Toyota managers and staff in Japan were allegedly aware of the long-running disclosure failure but didn’t take action to stop it.

Subsequently, millions of vehicles with defects were improperly sold, said the report.

In reaction to the official complaint, Toyota in statement argued that its failure “resulted in a negligible emissions impact, if any.”

It also said it reported the defects to the EPA in 2015 after discovering a “process gap” that resulted in delays in filing the defect reports.

The company stated that “within months of discovering this issue, we submitted all relevant delayed filings and put new robust reporting and compliance practices in place.”

Besides paying the civil penalty, the Japanese automaker has also agreed to investigate any future emissions-related defects quickly and report them to EPA.

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