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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid