The Department is trying to determine if the manufacturer acted in a timely manner upon being made aware of the issue with its vehicles, and has requested specific documents that relate to timing and methodology of the recall process.
In accordance with US law, Toyota must fully disclose the requested information within 60 days or risk being fined.
It is believed the request was put in to action following criticism from consumer advocacy groups in the US that claimed government outfits failed to adequately fine car manufacturers or seek detailed information with legally justified subpoena powers.
In addition to the requests made by the US Transportation Department, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has requested a response from Toyota in regards to how seriously it has considered and investigated the role faulty electronics in unintended acceleration cases. Toyota has previously stated that several tests – both internal and external – have shown that electronics are not to blame.
CarAdvice will keep you posted on any further developments in this case.