For hiding a "dangerous" gas pedal defect the U.S. government wants to hand Toyota the maximum penalty, a fine of $16.4 million, reports the AP. That's a paltry amount for the world's largest automaker, which has seen surging sales despite its PR crisis. The sudden acceleration problem was blamed in several NY area incidents, including a Westchester nanny who drove into a stone wall (it turned out she didn't brake). Opportunistic drivers aside, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says investigators have determined the auto giant acted badly. "We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations," he said in a statement. "Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families."