* Toyota previously agreed to pay fine
* Second U.S. investigation of Toyota recall ongoing
WASHINGTON May 18 Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T)
has paid a $16.4 million fine to settle allegations by U.S.
regulators the company was too slow to recall vehicles with
defective accelerator pedals.
The civil penalty payment, the maximum allowed under auto
safety regulations, came two days before Toyota's U.S. sales
chief, Jim Lentz, was expected to appear before a congressional
committee investigating Toyota recalls.
In paying the fine as expected, Toyota did not admit
wrongdoing regarding the 2010 recall stemming from a National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation of
pedals that would not spring back as designed.
Safety regulators are also investigating whether Toyota
delayed a 2009 recall of all-weather floor mats that could jam
the gas pedal.
That investigation is expected to run through the summer
and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week would not
rule out the possibility of another fine.
The "sticky pedal" and floor mat recalls involving millions
of vehicles globally are at the heart of Toyota's worst safety
crisis over unintended acceleration.
(Reporting by John Crawley; editing by Andre Grenon)