Have you seen the news? Toyota took the extraordinary step Tuesday of suspending the manufacture and sale of eight of its most popular models because of an unresolved issue over defective accelerators. The Japanese automaker told its dealers to temporarily stop selling the RAV4, Highlander and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles; Corolla, Camry and Avalon cars; Matrix hatchbacks; and Tundra pickups. If you own one of these vehicles, you can read their statement and get instructions on what you should do. You can read multiple reports on the issue below.
The CBS Evening News (1/26, lead story, 2:10, Couric) reported, “Toyota has just done something no car maker in this country has ever done before: it has just told its dealers to stop selling eight of its models, at least temporarily, the same models it recalled last week to fix a potentially dangerous defect – their gas pedals could get stuck.”
NBC Nightly News (1/16, lead story, 2:20, Williams) reported, “Toyota is telling its dealerships nationwide to suspend all sales of eight different models involved in the recall it announced last week for that sticking accelerator pedal until it can find a remedy.” There “is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms, in rare cases, mechanically stick while partially depressed or return slowly to the idle position.” Because “sales are being suspended, Toyota is shutting down five production lines next week until it gets to the bottom of the problem.”
ABC World News (1/26, lead story, 2:00, Sawyer) reported, “It’s Toyota’s latest reaction to the frightening stories about those runaway cars, inexplicably speeding out of control.” Toyota said, “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.” As to “how long this suspension will last, Toyota says it does not know.”
The Washington Post
(1/27, Mufson, Haynes) reports, Toyota “told its dealers to temporarily stop selling the RAV4, Highlander and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles; Corolla, Camry and Avalon cars; Matrix hatchbacks; and Tundra pickups.” The Post notes, “The standstill is a huge setback for a company that built its business largely on a reputation for reliability and which perennially vies with General Motors and Volkswagen for the number one sales ranking among world auto companies.” And “it left many loyal Toyota customers worried about safety and confused about what to do, because Toyota isn’t sure how to fix the problem.”
The New York Times
(1/27, A1, Bunkley) reports on its front page, “Toyota said the move was intended to restore confidence in the automaker, and the safety of its products. One analyst said many consumers might have a different reaction.” Toyota’s “acknowledgement of problems with acceleration pedals reawakens one of the oldest safety issues in the auto industry. Manufacturers have long dismissed that a vehicle can race forward out of the driver’s control, contending that the problem takes place when a driver mistakenly pushes the accelerator while trying to hit the brake pedal.” The Wall Street Journal
(1/27, Linebaugh) also reports the story.