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Ford, Toyota, GM: Comparing the Fines

Toyota has received what is by far the largest civil penalty ever assessed against an auto manufacturer by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, Toyota is far from alone in receiving a harsh financial slap on the wrist for violating NHTSA standards. Its peers and other auto industry players -- including Ford and General Motors -- have also, in the past, received fines that were relatively large, considering the time in which they were handed out.

For example, GM in 2004 paid a civil fine of $1 million to settle charges that it didn't make the grade in conducting a timely recall to the windshield wiper failure in 581,344 Trailblazers, Bravadas, Envoys and Isuzu Ascenders made in 2002 and 2003.

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