Toyota took the unprecedented step Tuesday of suspending sales and production of eight models or its vehicles until it figures out why some of them experience rapid acceleration.
“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,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and Toyota division general manager for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
Today’s decision affects 2.3 million vehicles that were recalled last week to fix reported accelerator problems. But it goes further in stopping the sale of cars sitting on dealers’ lots.
Toyota last year recalled 4 million vehicles to modify accelerators that got caught behind floor mats. But today the company acknowledged that there may be other reasons why accelerators are stuck.
“There is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position,” Toyota stated.
An investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed that electronic “drive-by-wire” accelerators in newer Toyotas may be affected by electromagnetic interference from other electronic systems in a vehicle. IN Compliance Magazine reported Dec. 18 that new ISO standards under development would help identify electrical “transients” and establish tests to determine how well systems are insulated from interference.
A suspension of Toyota sales has also resulted in the suspension of vehicle production at plants in Canada and three U.S. states. A list of the affected vehicles can be found here.