Toyota responds to $16M fine

(AP) - Toyota says it hasn't been notified yet, butthe automaker says it knows the U.S. government is proposing arecord $16.4 million fine for failing to quickly alert regulatorsabout safety problems.

The government is accusing Toyota of hiding a "dangerousdefect" -- the sticking gas pedals that led Toyota to recallmillions of vehicles.

In a statement today, Toyota says it's taken a number ofimportant steps to improve communications with regulators andcustomers on safety-related matters. The company isn't sayingwhether it will pay the fine. It has two weeks to accept or contestthe penalty.

There could be further penalties under continuing federalinvestigations. The Japanese automaker also faces private lawsuitsseeking many millions more.

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