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Toyota recall: Tips for owners of Camry, Corolla, Matrix, other suspended cars

When the sale and production of the Toyota Corolla, the biggest selling car in history, and the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger in the United Sates the past seven years, comes to a sudden halt, something is obviously wrong

Toyota Motor Co., confronted the problem with a sudden and unprecedented announcement. Sales of several years of the Corolla and Camry models as well as six other Toyota models have ceased. Likewise, a temporary production halt of the same eight models from numerous North American production plants has been announced.

The models which will no longer be sold and which will stop production in early February include: 2009-10 RAV4, 2009-10 Corolla, 2009-10 Matrix, 2005-10 Avalon, 2007-10 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-10 Tundra, 2008-10 Sequoia.

Toyota Corolla 2009
Toyota Corolla 2009

The announcement comes on the aftermath of two recent recalls of several million Toyota models for two unrelated issues: moving floor mats causing obstructed accelerator pedals and sticking accelerator pedals.

The two issues are the alleged cause of more than 100 accidents, including the death of four people in a December accident.

With the latest announcement of Toyota’s cease of sales and production, many Toyota owners expressed concerns.

Just prior to the latest announcement, Toyota addressed the owners’ anxiety.

“The possibility of this (sticking accelerator) happening is very rare,” John Hanson, a Toyota spokesman, said in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor. “The problem involves a specific accelerator pedal assembly from a specific supplier. And it happens over time, not overnight.”

“This is a wear issue,” Hanson said. “The owner will begin to feel that the accelerator is a little rough when they push it down. It doesn’t operate as smoothly as it used to.”

Customers who experience with the aforementioned models should call their dealer or Toyota’s customer hot line at 800-331-4331.

If owners don’t address the problem, the issue can get worse, Toyota’s spokesman explained.

“We’re at least a month away from sending official notices (to owners),” Hanson said “We don’t have the specific remedy for [the problem] developed fully yet.”

The latest announcement is separate from the acceleration problems caused by floor mats jamming the accelerator, a problem for which Toyota issued a recall in November.

The vehicles involved in that recall are the 2007-10 Camry, 2005-10 Avalon, 2004-09 Prius, 2005-10 Tacoma, 2007-10 Tundra, 2007-10 ES 350, 2006-10 IS 250, and 2006-10 IS 350. (To view more information about that recall, click here.)

Shortly after the announcement of the sales and production halt, Toyota posted on its web site:

“No Lexus division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, which will remain for sale.”

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