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Buying & Leasing a Car

Toyota Announces Massive Recall, Halt to Sales

Kiplinger News

Toyota's multimillion-vehicle recall was the direct result of pressure from U.S. government officials.

The Japanese automaker announced that 2.3 million cars, trucks and SUVs would be subject to recall for an accelerator pedal problem. Toyota also announced that sales of the vehicles would be suspended immediately and production would stop on the week of February 1.

"The reason Toyota decided to do the recall and to stop manufacturing is that we asked them to," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in an interview with Chicago radio station WGN.

National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration official David Strickland added that the company's decision "was legally and morally the right thing to do." The NHTSA reportedly pressured Toyota into suspending sales of the afflicted vehicles.

Toyota was once touted as an exemplar of quality auto building, but its star has fallen in recent years. A spate of recalls in the middle of the 2000s dinged its sterling reputation, and Toyota cars' design integrity was called into question after a November recall of 3.8 million vehicles for a floor mat issue.

The latest recall announcement -- in concert with an expansion of the floor mat recall announced this week -- may drive Toyota shoppers elsewhere. General Motors, for its part, is offering $1,000 discounts to buyers who trade in Toyotas.