Toyota halts sales of 8 recalled models



WASHINGTON --- Toyota Motor Co. said Tuesday that 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. The Japanese automaker said the sales suspension includes the 2009-10 RAV4, the 2009-10 Corolla, the 2007-10 Camry, the 2009-10 Matrix, the 2005-10 Avalon, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-10 Tundra and the 2008-10 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 sales suspension could strike the company's bottom line and reputation for quality.

Toyota sold more than 34,000 Camrys in December, making the midsize sedan America's best-selling car, with 3.4 percent of the market.

In an e-mail to employees, company officials said, "we don't know yet how long this pause will last but we will make every effort to resume production soon."

Toyota officials did not immediately return phone messages.