Toyota recall of 2.3 million cars prompts sales suspension
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said Tuesday it is asking dealers to temporarily suspend sales of eight models.
The company’s sales suspension is part of a recall announced last week to correct a problem that could cause the accelerator pedal to stick.
“Helping ensure the safety of our customers and restoring confidence in Toyota are very important to our company,” said Toyota USA group vice president Bob Carter. “This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized.”
About 2.3 million vehicles will be affected by the recall, Toyota (TM) said Tuesday in a statement. That’s more autos than Toyota sold in all of 2009, when it sold 1.8 million vehicles.
The automaker also said that it will halt the production of vehicles in certain production facilities in Canada, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas during the week of Feb. 1 to “assess and coordinate activities.” The vehilcles currently being built will not be sold until they are fixed, a Toyota spokesman said.
“Suspending sales and production is certainly good to reassure the public that they are serious about doing something, but too many jobs and lost sales are involved for this to be a PR stunt,” Edmunds.com Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds said in statement. “They must really be concerned about this being something other than a rare condition. Hopefully this means the fix is very close to being ready, because suspension of production and sales is not tolerable for very long.”
The recall affects Toyota’s 2009-2010 RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, certain 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.
General Motors’ Pontiac Vibe, which is essentially the same car as the Toyota Matrix, was also included in the recall. GM is not participating in the order to stop selling the cars because it has already stopped production of Pontiac vehicles as part of its wind-down of the Pontiac brand, a GM spokesman said.
This new recall is to correct a situation in which the gas pedal could stick without the presence of a floor mat.
The situation is rare, according to Toyota, but can occur when accelerator pedal mechanisms become worn. The problem will usually develop gradually, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said. The pedal may become harder to press and may become slower to return when released. In the worst cases, it may become stuck in a partially depressed position.
A Toyota spokesman said there are no confirmed deaths traceable to the defect.
The new recall, involving sticking accelerator pedals, is separate from an ongoing recall of 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles due to the risk of pedal entrapment because of a loose floormat.
About 1.7 million Toyota Division vehicles have been affected by both recalls.
Toyota owners with questions should call Toyota’s customer service line at 800-331-4331.