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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid