The Transportation Department is formally demanding documents related to Toyota's massive recalls in the United States to find out if the automaker conducted three of its recalls in a timely manner.
The legal documents were delivered to Toyota on Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press. The documents demand that the company tell the government when and how Toyota learned of the safety defects in millions of vehicles.
Investigators are looking into whether Toyota discovered the problems during pre-production or post-production of the affected vehicles.
Consumer groups have criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for not forcefully regulating the auto industry and limiting its use of fines and failing to seek detailed information from car companies.
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