Toyota Temporarily Suspends Sales of Selected U.S.-Market Vehicles

By Kevin Miller

01.26.2010

Toyota logo-smallToyota has announced today that they are halting sales of some vehicle models that are involved in the automaker’s recent recall for sticking accelerator pedals. Only Toyota branded vehicles are involved; no Lexus and Scion vehicles are affected. Models involved include the RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry (non-hybrid), Highlander, Tundra, and Sequoia. Retailers have been instructed that involved vehicles are not to be sold. This will undoubtedly have an effect on both consumer confidence and Toyota’s January sales numbers.

The halt in sales is also causing a halt in production at several of the automaker’s US plants that produce those models. Plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, and Canada will be affected by the shutdown.

Toyota’s press release speaks for itself; the full text is available below the jump.

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TORRANCE, Calif., January 26, 2010 – – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it is instructing Toyota dealers to temporarily suspend sales of eight models involved in the recall for sticking accelerator pedal, announced on January 21, 2010.

“Helping ensure the safety of our customers and restoring confidence in Toyota are very important to our company,” said Group Vice President and Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter. “This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized. We’re making every effort to address this situation for our customers as quickly as possible.”

Toyota announced it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on specific Toyota Division models. Toyota has investigated isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedal mechanisms in certain vehicles without the presence of floor mats. There is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position.

Toyota’s accelerator pedal recall and suspension of sales is confined to the following Toyota Division vehicles:

2009-2010 RAV4,
2009-2010 Corolla,
2009-2010 Matrix,
2005-2010 Avalon,
Certain 2007-2010 Camry,
2010 Highlander,
2007-2010 Tundra,
2008-2010 Sequoia

No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, which will remain for sale.

Due to the sales suspension, Toyota is expected to stop producing vehicles on the following production lines for the week of February 1 to assess and coordinate activities. The North America vehicle production facilities affected are:

• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Canada (Corolla, Matrix, and RAV4)
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (Sequoia and Highlander)
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky – Line 1 (Camry and Avalon)
• Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (Camry)
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (Tundra)

No other North American Toyota vehicle production facilities are affected by the decision to stop production.

The sticking accelerator pedal recall is separate from the on-going recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles to reduce the risk of pedal entrapment by incorrect or out of place accessory floor mats. Approximately 1.7 million Toyota Division vehicles are subject to both separate recall actions.

Author: Kevin Miller

As Autosavant’s resident Swedophile, Kevin has an acute affinity for Saabs, with a mild case of Volvo-itis as well. Aside from covering most Saab-related news for Autosavant, Kevin also reviews cars and covers industry news. His “Great Drive” series, with maps and directions included, is a reader favorite.

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10 Comments

  1. Serious move. Obviously they are serious about fixing the problem.

    But it will hurt their public image quite a bit, at least on a temporary basis, that’s for sure.

  2. Forget the embarassment, this can’t be good for sales. Toyota sells their cars because they’re dependable and that’s it. Take that away and sales go with it.

  3. I beg to differ that this will hurt Toyota sales.

    In fact consumers should find a lot of altruism on the part of Toyota for trying to be “transparent”.

    We know that manufacturers always make running changes while production is on-going once an issue potentially affecting safety is discovered. And that voluntary safety recalls have historically been issued for virtually every make of car/ light truck.

    But to actually pull the plug on sales and production so that all models “potentially” affected by an issue receive a modification before going into the stream of commerce? It is likely an industry first.

  4. Altruistic?!? Give me a break. If they care so much, why didn’t they stop selling five days prior when the recall was announced?

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told WGN Radio in Chicago that “the reason Toyota decided to do the recall and to stop manufacturing was because we asked them to.”

    Cited from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35086922/ns/business-autos/

  5. Steven:

    If you go on in that MSNBC article “[Sec.] LaHood said the department urged the company to act and credited Toyota for going “a step above” by stopping production.”

    Here is a link to NHTSA’s web page listing the Jan. 21 “Voluntary Vehicle Safety Recall”

    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V017000

  6. George, Toyota fans are loyal, I’ll give you that, but to suggest that this could be a net positive for Toyota makes me think that you are a bit daft. This cannot be good for business. This cannot be good for brand image.

  7. American consumers have very short memories. Just think about the price of gasoline if you don’t believe me. Most Americans still make a decision about what fuel economy their new car purchase should achieve based on the price of gasoline the week before they buy their new vehicle.

    This will blow over.

  8. Lanny:

    The child car seat manufacturer Graco gets perhaps more consumer safety complaints and consequent recalls than any other product regulated by NHTSA.

    Yet it is perenially the top selling child car seat in the US.

    Which is the number one maker of baby cribs in the US… again Graco? And which crib-maker generates the most safety the most safety complaints at the CPSC? Again Graco. Sold at the largest retailer in the US, Walmart.

    By sheer numbers of these products in the stream of commerce combined with plenty of improper use by end consumers you’re going to get consumer complaints. And lawsuits will be filed. So the regulating agencies take greater notice.

    When Porsche issued a recall for a probematic fuel hose in its 2007 MY Cayenne (which could result in an engine fire) did it adversely affect Porsche Cayenne sales?

    In 2012, Toyota will actually have a plug-in gas electric hybrid Prius on the road to compete with the Chevy Volt. Let’s see then how adversely this recall affects Prius sales?

  9. George, I agree with you that this is not going to necessarily spell problems for Toyota’s future sales. It all depends on how actively and how quickly they handle the situation. Going above and beyond what is expected is nothing short of a necessity at this point for Toyota. Toyota’s customers are already angry and anxious, so fixing their cars quickly and correctly, and minimizing their inconvenience via rental cars, etc. are the ways to make this right.

  10. Looks like there are a lot of Toyota apologists on here.

    Look, the company did wrong, there’s no doubt about. Face the facts!

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