Toyota Motor Co. said Tuesday it was suspending U.S. sales of eight recalled vehicle models to fix accelerator pedals that stick, the latest quality problem to confront the world's No. 1 automaker.
As part of the plan, Toyota said it was halting production at five manufacturing facilities for the week of Feb. 1 "to assess and coordinate activities." There are 2.3 million vehicles involved in the recall, which was announced last week.
"This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized," said Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president and general manager.
The Japanese automaker says the sales suspension includes the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.
It was unclear how long Toyota would suspend production of the vehicles. In an e-mail to employees, company officials said, "we don't know yet how long this pause will last but we will make every effort to resume production soon." Toyota officials did not immediately return phone messages.
Toyota said the company would stop producing vehicles at plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Texas and Canada. They said no other North American Toyota facility would be affected by the decision.
The auto company said the sales suspension would not affect Lexus or Scion vehicles. Toyota said the Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, would remain for sale.
Toyota said last week it was recalling 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix accelerator pedals with mechanical problems that could cause them to become stuck.
That announcement followed a larger recall months earlier of 4.2 million vehicles because of problems with gas pedals becoming trapped under floor mats, causing sudden acceleration. That problem was the cause of several crashes, including some fatalities.
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