Toyota suspends sales of eight models over accelerator issues

WASHINGTON’ – Toyota Motor Co. said Tuesday it was’suspending U.S. sales of eight recalled models to fix accelerator pedals that stick, the latest quality problem to confront the world’s No. 1 automaker.

The ‘stop sale’ involves a’significant portion of Toyota’s’fleet and some of its most popular vehicles, including the Camry’and Corolla.

As part of the plan, Toyota is 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 group’s vice’president and general manager.

The Japanese automaker said the sales suspension includes the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the’2005-2010 Avalon, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010’Sequoia.

Aaron Bragman, an auto analyst for the consulting firm IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich., said Toyota typically sells about 65,000 Camrys and Corollas per month and the suspension of sales could strike the company’s bottom line and reputation for quality.

‘That’s huge if they can’t sell these and they don’t have a fix identified. They need to go and get a solution to this fast,’ Bragman said.