DoJ complaint said Toyota failed to file hundreds of emissions reports
Actions spanned at least 2005 to 2015
The U.S. Department of Justice has just announced a settlement between it and Toyota that would see the automaker pay a massive settlement to resolve what DoJ called “systematic, longstanding violations of Clean Air Act emission-related defect reporting requirements.”
“For a decade, Toyota systematically violated regulations that provide EPA with a critical compliance tool to ensure that vehicles on the road comply with federal emissions standards,” said Audrey Strauss, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Toyota shut its eyes to the noncompliance, failing to provide proper training, attention, and oversight to its Clean Air Act reporting obligations. 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 settlement, US $180m (CAD 227m), is the largest civil penalty ever for violations of the US Environmental Protection Agency emission reporting rules. As part of the settlement, Toyota will have to follow proper compliance and reporting practices including training, communication, and oversight requirements.
In the complaint, also filed today, the court alleged that from 2005 until at least late 2015, Toyota violated the Clean Air Act by failing to file the proper notifications needed “when 25 or more vehicles or engines in a given model year have the same defect in an emission control part or an element of design installed in order to comply with emission standards and other EPA regulations.” The mandatory reporting requirements, DoJ said, “encourage manufacturers to investigate and voluntarily address defects that may result in excess emissions of harmful air pollutants.”
The complaint states that Toyota had decided to file only when required by the looser state of Californa regulations and managers failed to bring the company into compliance once staff in Japan became aware. It includes at least 69 Emissions Defect Information Reports filed as much as eight years late, and Toyota disclosed another 30 that had not been filed at all. It also said that Toyota failed to file more than 200 quarterly reports related to emissions recall campaigns.