News / USA

Toyota Halts US Sales of Popular Models

The 2010 Toyota Tundra is one of the vehicles being recalled for flawed gas pedals
The 2010 Toyota Tundra is one of the vehicles being recalled for flawed gas pedals

Multimedia

Japanese automaker Toyota has suspended sales of some of its most popular models in the U.S. to fix a flaw in the gas pedals that could make the cars accelerate without warning.  The suspension comes after a recall last week involving 2.3 million vehicles. Toyota officials say the problem affects only U.S.-made vehicles, but could spread to Europe, where similar accelerator parts are used. 

In an extraordinary move that sent Toyota stock prices plummeting, the world's largest automaker has suspended sales of eight of its most popular models and shut down five North American plants.  Michelle Krebs at online auto advisor Edmunds.com called the sales freeze "unprecedented."

"It represents two-thirds of the Toyota brand sales and more than half of the whole company's sales.  We've never seen anything like this before," said Krebs.

Toyota announced the recall last Thursday following reports that the accelerator mechanism in some models can wear down and cause the gas pedal to stick.  The company says it is unaware of any accidents or injuries as a result of the flaw, but news reports link the defect to several accidents in the U.S, some with fatal results.

Affected models include Toyota's top selling Camry and Corolla sedans, the Rav4, Avalon, Matrix, Tundra and sport utility vehicles such as the Highlander and Sequoia.

One Toyota owner says the company should have acted sooner.

TOYOTA OWNER1:  "I think it's a good thing, they probably should have done it a few weeks ago when they were saying it was the gas pedal and the floor mats."

U.S. auto dealers, already reeling from one of the worst sales slumps in more than two decades, say the eight models account for 56 percent of Toyota's U.S. sales.  Fresno State marketing professor William Rice says the recall could hurt the company's advertised reputation for quality and safety.

"And when people have fears, they are not going to buy and so there's going to be a significant pullback of consumer confidence, pullback of consumer trust in their products, which is going to reach all the way down into their sales," he explained.

But some customers believe Toyota is doing what responsible companies do.

TOYOTA OWNER2:  "Things happen, mistakes happen.  If they're doing a recall, they're open about it with their customers, so I think it's just going to be a temporary setback.  I don't think it's going to hold Toyota back or take anything away from their brand loyalty."

Company officials say the problem part has been traced to one U.S. supplier and does not affect vehicles made in Japanese plants.  But the problem is expected to spread to Europe, where a similar accelerator part is used.

The recall and sales suspension is just the latest in a string of quality control problems that have plagued the Japanese automaker.  Last year, Toyota recalled nearly four million cars for a similar issue.

You May Like

Young Pakistani Satirists Work to Change Story

Pakistani artists have long been tackling issues considered to be out of bounds for media, and a new breed of musicians, comedians continue to satirize many of them More

Is the Partition of Iraq Inevitable?

Analysts say formation of independent Kurdistan could threaten nation-state system of entire region More

Ramones Punk Band Co-founder Dies

Drummer, songwriter Tommy Ramone, 65, had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct and died at home in Queens, NY More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pakistani Offensive Empties Biggest Town in Militant Sanctuaryi
X
Ayaz Gul
July 11, 2014 4:03 PM
Pakistan's military recently took a group of journalists to Miranshah, North Waziristan, the main city in a region that has been stronghold of militant and terrorist groups. Ayaz Gul brings us a first-person view of the trip to a city that is now empty of residents, but full of evidence of the militants who were once based there.
Video

Video Pakistani Offensive Empties Biggest Town in Militant Sanctuary

Pakistan's military recently took a group of journalists to Miranshah, North Waziristan, the main city in a region that has been stronghold of militant and terrorist groups. Ayaz Gul brings us a first-person view of the trip to a city that is now empty of residents, but full of evidence of the militants who were once based there.
Video

Video Hotel in Rio Favela Attracts Jazz Enthusiasts

You might not expect to find a hotel in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas -- the local name for the city's shantytowns. But VOA’s Brian Allen has the unlikely success story of “The Maze.” Though it's located in one of the poorest parts of the city, it has also been named as one of the best places to hear live jazz music in the world.
Video

Video Smart Road 'Talks' to Cars, Warns of Dangers

How would you drive differently if traffic signals could tell you when they were about to turn red? Or, if your car could warn you of a pedestrian crossing the road ahead of you? Researchers are working on these advances on what’s called a “Smart Road” in Virginia. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti puts you in the driver’s seat to show how it’s done.
Video

Video California Dance Company Aims to Break Belly Dance Stereotype

In the United States, and some other countries, belly dancing is often perceived as a seductive dance, performed mostly at specialty restaurants. One California dance company is trying to get more people to appreciate it as form of art. The group Bellydance Evolution is hoping to redefine people's view of belly dancing by fusing western dance styles with belly dancing and performing around the world. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Restored Papyrus Swamps Can Help Fight Pollution, Conserve Water

Papyrus is a light but strong reed that grows well in shallow, fresh water. The plant stood at the center of the ancient Egyptian civilization. It was used as paper and the reed's shape inspired the fluted columns of ancient Greece. Most of the papyrus swamps gradually disappeared from Egypt and other parts of Africa. As VOA's Faiza Elmasry discovered, though, restoring the papyrus swamps could hold the key to solve many of today’s problems, from pollution to water wars. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Virginia Site Tests Drones for FAA Rules

Blacksburg, a college town in southwestern Virginia, is one of six locations chosen by the FAA - the Federal Aviation Administration - to test drones. Researchers are sending feedback to the FAA as the agency develops national drone regulations. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti traveled to the town to check what’s up in the air there.
Video

Video Israel, Hamas Trade Blame, Dig in

The military conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, continues to escalate. As VOA’s Brian Padden reports, both sides blame each other for provoking the conflict and neither side at this point is ready to back down.
Video

Video Burma Football Friendly Brings Together Battlefield Opponents

As most of Myanmar’s ethnic armies maintain a fragile ceasefire with the government, some of the troops were able to let off a little steam, World Cup - style. Steve Sandford reports from Karen State, Myanmar, also known as Burma, on a peace initiative aimed at building trust between the opposing sides of one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.

AppleAndroid