Toyota will suspend sales of eight models in the US because of a problem with a sticking gas pedal. The Tuesday announcement follows a Toyota recall list that will affect 2.3 million vehicles.
The timing couldn’t be worse. After reporting its first ever annual loss last year, Toyota announced Tuesday that it will suspend US sales and manufacturing of eight Toyota models to fix faulty gas pedals. The unprecedented move comes days after the unveiling of a Toyota recall list of 2.3 million vehicles.
The decision may have serious consequences for Toyota. It lost $7.1 billion last year, and the Tuesday announcement will hamper its ability to return to profitability through increased sales, as well as potentially dent its reputation as a producer of reliable vehicles.
“It’s a humbling experience for them,” says Jeff Bartlett, Deputy Editor Online for Consumer Reports. “For them to stumble is a bit of a blow to their consumer image and their standing in the industry.”
Toyota said it will halt production of eight models at six North American assembly plants for the week of Feb. 1. The models represented 57 percent of Toyota’s 2009 US sales, according to the Wall Street Journal. They also represent some of America’s best-selling models, including the Camry and Corolla.
The models that will be recalled or subject to a sales suspension include:
• RAV4 (2009-10 models)
• Corolla (2009-10)
• Camry (2007-10)
• Matrix hatchback (2009-10)
• Avalon large sedan (2005-10)
• Highlander crossover (2010)