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Toyota suspends US sales

Sticking point: The Toyota Avalon is one of eight Toyota models to be suspended from sale over sticking throttles.

Camry, Avalon, Corolla and RAV4 pulled from sale in US over sticky throttles

Toyota logo28 Jan 2010

TOYOTA has suspended sales of eight of its most popular models in the US a week after it announced a recall of some 2.3 million examples of the same vehicles in North America.

The embarrassing announcement was made by Toyota Motor Sales USA on January 26, after the company’s voluntary January 21 safety recall to fix sticking accelerator pedals on all current Corolla, Avalon, RAV4, Highlander and certain Camry models, as well as the Matrix, Tundra and Sequoia.

Sales of those models have now been temporarily halted in the US, as Toyota continues to investigate “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,” said Toyota.

The latest recall is separate from a recall on 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles late last year to check accessory floor mats that could jam the accelerator pedal if they became unhooked. However, about 1.7 million vehicles are covered in both recalls, meaning about 4.8 million cars are now subject to recall notices.

 center imageLeft: US Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Sequoia.

Models affected by the announcement are the 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, as well as the 2007-2010 Tundra, 2008-2010 Sequoia, 2010 Highlander (sold here as the Kluger) and certain 2007-2010 Camry models.

Toyota stressed that no Lexus or Scion vehicles were affected by the actions, while other unaffected models were the Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, LandCruiser and some Camry models – including all Camry Hybrids – which will remain on sale.

Toyota Australia has confirmed that export versions of its Camry and Aurion models were not affected by the US sales ban, following its previous advice that no Australian models were affected by either recall in the US.

“The throttle pedals used in LHD export Camry and Aurion are not affected,” said Toyota Australia spokesman Mike Breen today.

Due to the sales suspension, Toyota says it expects to cease production at a number US factories “for the week of February 1 to assess and coordinate activities”.

Affected plants include 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) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (Tundra).

Toyota shares fell more than three per cent in early Tokyo trade following its US sales suspension. Falling by as much as 3.36 per cent on Wednesday morning (January 27), shares in the world’s largest car-maker rebounded to 3775 Yen ($46.63) later the same day – down 2.45 per cent from Tuesday’s value.

Analysts predict the unprecedented US recall by Toyota will spread to Europe next.

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