Update: Toyota halts sales of recalled cars

To say it’s been a rough few months for Toyota would be a gross understatement.  Toyota announced last week that there were 2.3 million vehicles being recalled over gas pedal wear & tear issues.  Now they’ve announced that sales of the affected cars will be halted until the fix for the recall has been performed on them.  These aren’t the same cars from the 3.8-million vehicle recall, mind you, so no Lexus or Scion vehicles are being held by dealers.  I have a feeling that Toyota is only halting sales of the models listed below in response to the pressure put upon them by automotive web sites and customers, but am glad to see it nonetheless.  Click past the jump for the list of models being held by dealers.

Note that no Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles built in Japan, are included in this dealer hold.  Toyota will also stop production of several of the models for the week of February 1.  Between production stoppage and dealer holds, Toyota stands to lose a lot of money with this recall.

2010 Pontiac Vibe GT

2010 Pontiac Vibe GT

According to the Detroit News, David Strickland, the head of the NHTSA, told Toyota to stop selling the vehicles, as they were legally obligated to do since no fix has been discovered.  Toyota, on the other hand, said that they were holding the cars voluntarily.  There’s no telling who is correct in this case, but it sounds like Toyota’s PR spin doctors wanted to try and get in front of this snafu, but the details came out anyway.

Another facet of this recall is the recently discontinued Pontiac Vibe, which is a rebadged Toyota Matrix, and uses the same pedal mechanism.  An article on AOL Autos notes that GM is voluntarily suspending sales of the Pontiac Vibe.  While this makes for good public relations, this only affects new Vibes, not the used 2009 models also affected by the recall, according to GM.

Models being held by Toyota dealers:

2009-2010 RAV4
2009-2010 Corolla
2009-2010 Matrix
2005-2010 Avalon
Certain 2007-2010 Camry
2010 Highlander
2007-2010 Tundra
2008-2010 Sequoia

And for those of you with a car listed above, here’s a FAQ about the recall:

Frequently Asked Questions for the Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall

What is the condition that has prompted Toyota to take this action?
In rare instances, there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position.
What is the likelihood that my vehicle will experience this condition?
The incidence of this condition is rare and occurs gradually over a period time. It can occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and, in certain conditions, the accelerator pedal may become harder to depress, slower to return or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position.
What should I do if I believe my vehicle is affected by this condition?, i.e. I have noticed that my accelerator pedal is hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation.
The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.
What if you experience a sticking accelerator pedal while driving?
• Each circumstance may vary, and drivers must use their best judgment, but Toyota recommends taking one of following actions:
• If you need to stop immediately, the vehicle can be controlled by stepping on the brake pedal with both feet using firm and steady pressure.  Do not pump the brake pedal as it will deplete the vacuum utilized for the power brake assist.
• Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
• If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
o If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine.  Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
o If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine.  Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.
If I am an owner of one of the affected vehicles, what action do I need to take?
Toyota is working quickly to prepare a correction remedy and will issue owner notifications in the future.  No action is required at this time unless you feel you are experiencing this condition.  If you are experiencing this condition, immediately contact your nearest Toyota Dealer for assistance.

What should I do if I still have questions or concerns?
If you still have questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.
The Toyota Customer Experience Center hours are:
Mon – Fri, 5:00 am – 6:00 pm PST
Sat, 7:00 am – 4:00 pm PST

by John Suit

Source: Toyota, DetroitNews, AOL Autos

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