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Toyota Recall Models Affected

The Toyota Corporation has announced that they would stop selling 8 Toyota brand models until they had a proper fix in place for problems involving their accelerator pedal system. According to news reports this morning, Toyota was legally required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stop selling the cars. It’s not clear at the moment why Toyota waited five days to do so. Whether their move to suspend sales came yesterday or last week, the effects of the news will be massive for the automaker.

Last week the company issued the advance notice of a safety recall, but continued to sell the vehicles that needed attention. That disparity created confusion in the marketplace.

“Helping ensure the safety of our customers and restoring confidence in Toyota are very important to our company,” said Toyota’s Group Vice President 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.”

The move to stop selling all cars that need the remedy (see table below right) appears to be the right move for the company to make, but it will cost them. Using December’s numbers, the eight models represent 57% of the Toyota brand sales in the U.S. Each day that Toyota dealers can’t move these eight models , they lose about 3500 sales. One Pontiac model is included in the recall as well — the Pontiac Vibe — but GM said it only has six of these models available on dealer lots.

Perhaps most frustrating for consumers who own these vehicles — and for Toyota and their dealers — is that the remedy hasn’t been found yet. When we asked Toyota what fix would be in place, they told us they couldn’t answer that because they were still coming up with the solution. The pedal system isn’t made by Toyota directly, but by CTS Automotive in their Streetsville, Ontario plant. CTS Automotive also sells pedal systems to Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi, but those companies have confirmed that their cars use separate pedal systems than the one CTS Automotive sells to Toyota. Some experts are saying the fix could take months or even the entire first quarter.
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