Toyota slapped with $180M fine for not complying with CAA emissions-reporting requirements

Toyota slapped with $180M fine for not complying with CAA emissions-reporting requirements

Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation has been ordered to pay a hefty fine of $180 million for failing to comply with the Clean Air Act’s (CAA’s) carbon emissions-reporting requirements, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) confirmed.

According to documents released by the DoJ, the Japanese automaker failed to comply with the CAA’s carbon emissions-reporting requirements from 2005 to 2015. Administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the CAA is a federal law that has been designed to control air pollution all over the nation. It is believed to be one of the most influential as well as most comprehensive modern environmental laws in the US.

Toyota was found in breach of CAA’s carbon emissions-reporting requirements as it didn’t inform the federal authorities about progress on recalls related to carbon emissions defects in its vehicles. This resulted in higher profit for Toyota at the cost of the environment.

Regulation of carbon emissions largely rely on a “self-disclosures” by the manufacturers, which are supposed to file reports detailing their compliance with the regulations. Over the ten-year period, Toyota delayed filing of 78 carbon emissions reports. Some of the reports were filed late by up to eight years. In addition, the Japanese auto giant failed to file twenty emissions recall reports and more than 200 quarterly emissions recall updates.

In a recently-held press conference, the DOJ said, “Toyota’s conduct likely resulted in delayed or avoided recalls, with Toyota obtaining a significant economic benefit, pushing costs onto consumers, and lengthening the time that unrepaired vehicles with emission-related defects remained on the road.”

From 2005 to 2015, the automaker sold up to 2 million vehicles in the U.S. per annum, which means the aforementioned hefty fine represents nearly $10 fine per vehicle sold by the company during that period.

It is worth-mentioning here that this isn’t the first time for Toyota to be fined for violating carbon emission regulations. In 2003, it was slapped with a fine of $20 million for selling more than 2 million vehicles with non-compliant on-board diagnostic systems.

In addition to the $180 million fine, Toyota, which is lagging far behind other automakers in the EV transition, will be forced to operate under injunction for several months. The injunction has been imposed to ensure that the automaker comply with carbon emissions-reporting requirements in the future.