New Documents May Prove Toyota Lagged in Issuing Warnings

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."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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