North Texas Toyota owners react to suspended sales

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by STEVE STOLER / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 2:37 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 27 at 2:37 AM

PLANO — Toyota is taking drastic measures because of gas pedal problems. Sales of eight models have been stopped and production at the factories that make them has been halted.

The first Toyota recall came last September when the company thought a floor mat was to blame. Then there was a tragedy in Southlake. Four people drowned the day after Christmas. Investigators are trying to figure out if a stuck accelerator on their Avalon sedan was to blame.

Last week, Toyota's recall focused on gas pedals. The company acknowledged possible accelerator problems. Today, sales on those models have been suspended.

Mark and Sharon Bina’s family car is a Toyota RAV4. In the back seat is their little boy, Slade. “Obviously, it's a concern," said Mr. Bina.

The Binas just discovered their car is among the eight Toyota models that won't be manufactured or sold because of concerns over gas pedals that could stick. The list includes newer model Camrys and Avalons and some RAV4s, Corollas and Matrixes. Tundras, Sequoias and Highlanders are also on the list.

“It’s a good thing that they did that. But I thought the problem was just the car mats. And if it is, they should just fix it than suspend production," Mrs. Bina said.

Her husband says Toyota is a responsible company that’s doing the right thing. “If that means suspending production in the short term and sacrificing some profits in the short term, to make sure the vehicle is safe," he said.

The automaker typically sells 65,000 Camrys and Corollas each month. Auto analysts say the suspension of sales could hurt Toyota's bottom line and reputation for quality, a reputation that has been hurt since publicity about accidents like the one in California which killed four people when a Toyota crashed into a ravine.

A Plano Toyota dealer told News 8 they were moving fast, separating the cars that can be sold from the ones on Toyota's list.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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