If upheld, the sanction would represent the largest financial penalty imposed by the U.S. government on an automaker. The fine could rise if the government’s ongoing investigation into runaway Toyotas turns up violations related to other defects, officials said.
Toyota has two weeks to contest or accept the proposed penalty.
Although the cause of unintended acceleration in Toyotas is a matter of debate, the automaker and safety regulators agree that sticky pedals were behind at least some of the incidents. In announcing the fine on Monday, regulators said they are still reviewing 70,000 pages of Toyota documents that they have received during the course of the probe.