Toyota Temporarily Freezes Tundra Sales

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In light of criticism surrounding their recent accelerator mechanism recall announcement and safety warning, Toyota has stopped selling the Tundra along with 7 other models.

The following models are no longer available for sale:

  • Corolla
  • Matrix
  • Rav4
  • Camry
  • Avalon
  • Highlander
  • Sequoia
  • Tundra

These models accounted for 1,009,061 sales last year, or approximately 57% of sales.

Toyota is also halting production of these vehicles, a likely sign that a fix isn’t on the horizon in the immediate future. Obviously, this is going to result in a substantial financial loss for Toyota, but perhaps it will restore some consumer confidence in Toyota.

What do you think – will this decision to freeze sales help restore Toyota’s good name?

Filed Under: Auto News

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  1. Rick says:

    Wow… words fail me…

  2. molly says:

    If canada is halting production on the corolla why not Nummi?

  3. John Francoeur says:

    What does that mean for those who just bought a new 2010 Tundra?????
    I just can’t believe a pedal problem would cause such a serious response.
    Does the problem run deeper than what they are reporting?

  4. Art64 says:

    It will only be for a few weeks. This is not permanent.

  5. Mickey says:

    John Toyota is just making sure of Quality Control is going on at the factory. Until a fix is found or the root of the problem is found and then fixed Toyota is doing the right step by stopping production and checking where this issue can come from.

  6. John Francoeur says:

    I agree that this is the right thing to do, but it is not something you would expect when buying a Toyota product.

  7. mk says:

    Only 1 word can describe this: Unreal!

    Not only will this destroy Toyota sales, factories shutting down, people out of work, and dealers salesman being laid off if this problem is not solved within weeks, but will surely make me and several 100’s of 1,000’s of others thing twice about buying another Toyota vehicle. Toyota better get this recall fixed ASAP or they will be ruined for sure. Haulting production of 57% of your lineup in sales is unheard of. I am sure toyota is making this their #1 priority for their existence, in my opinion, is riding upon it. Step up Toyota and remedy this issue in less than 1 month or suffer failure. My .02 cents.

  8. John Francoeur says:

    I am wondering why I have not heard anything from my Toyota dealer about this replacement pedal deal. I am sure they are aware of the problem.
    Is this something that Toyota is supposed to contact owners with via letter?
    I was in just last week with the VVTi problem code P0012 and no mention was made then about the pedal being recalled/replaced.

  9. Winghunter says:

    I think that if this isn’t merely a mindless knee-jerk reaction to a minor situation easily controlled by at least half-competent drivers, then it must be a planned manipulation to raise the prices of their vehicles through simple higher demand. (Toyota raised their invoice prices again just this month.)

    This isn’t a Pinto explosion problem. In fact, children could figure out how to remedy this situation without halting production and/or sales.

    This, folks, stinks of a con game.

  10. John Francoeur says:

    Here is my solution to the problem. Fix the problem in the new trucks not released from the factory yet, send one to to my dealer and maybe maybe throw in an extra option or two to compensate for the hassle and give it to me, then tear apart my new trucks motor, replace the problem parts, and sell it as a used truck with a rebuilt engine. Because in essence, that is what it will be. Once they tear the engine apart it is no longer new. I don’t care how you slice it, it is now a rebuilt engine! And I did not pay 35K to drive a truck with a rebuilt engine. Otherwise give me my money back and I will go to another dealer and get a different brand of “new” truck.

  11. Dave says:

    They have to do it but this will hurt Toyota’s name more than it helps because it just makes the problem more known. I can deal with minor problems but major problems like parts being flimsy or unfixable is unacceptable to me.

  12. John Francoeur says:

    Any major drivetrain problem in a new truck is unacceptable, but according to my dealer the engines in the new Tundra are “cutting edge” technically. I am waiting right now to get answers from my dealer about the VVTi bulletin and the gas pedal problem, which I was just told that they don’t have a fix for right now. How comforting……NOT!

  13. Justin says:

    John: Something you wouldn’t expect from Toyota? Sorry, but if you’ve been on the news front with Toyota since the late 90’s, their reliability and quality has gone south and fast. So sure, you could possibly think a Toyota is of better quality/reliability than a domestic, many do. But truth be told, many still feel Toyota has the same quality/reliability they had from the 80s when the domestics were turning out POS’s. That fact simply isn’t true anymore. It’s funny how the media for decades have sort of brainwashed people into believing simply because it has Toyota on it, it’s a great vehicle. Maybe these last few recalls regarding the Tacoma, Tundra, this acceleration issue and the many other “service enhancements” they have had over the last decade will actually start to open some eyes. Not saying the domestics or other imports are better/worse, but it shows Toyota isn’t as infallible as many people seem to believe.
    Also, I don’t think the issue will need to rebuild the motor. It has to be regarding some item that is shared, or has a shared design between all these models that is causing the problem. What it is, I can’t say. Heck, it sounds like even Toyota doesn’t know. But I’m sure it’ll be an easy fix (software upgrade, throttle mechanism replacement, etc).
    Now once you signed the papers and drove your $35K truck off the lot, it was no longer new. Don’t expect to receive a new truck for FREE anytime soon. It may be upsetting, I know I would be if I owned one, but it wouldn’t be wise for Toyota to do so. Especially if they eventually have to recall other Toyota, Lexus and Scion models. Think of all the Camry’s alone (#1 selling car in America) and how much it’d cost to replace each one of them? Not a wise business decision, even if it may impact their reputation.
    Jason: I read in the Denver Post this morning that this recall only covered certain Camry’s, not all models. Any word on which models were included and which weren’t and why? Could the Hybrids be excluded while the normal 4 & 6 cylinders were impacted? Any insight would be great.
    MK: I’m sure Toyota will have a solution in the coming weeks. They can’t expect to suspend production and sales of these vehicles for too long without taking an extremely huge financial hit. And that’s not including the cost of paying the engineers researching the issue, finding a resolution and production of parts/software to correct the problem. Plus keep in mind, this suspension of production/sales, will directly impact the dealer base from how many vehicles they are able to sell, potential decrease in new car shoppers hitting the lots, and will increase their service dept. costs for repair/fixing this problem. We’ll have to wait and see if this has any longer term effects on sales of the models recalled, or Toyota in general. Wonder if we’ll see a spike in domestic and other import sales, and if so, how big of a spike.
    Winghunter: Yes, I agree part of the problem is the driver, that we all know. But tell me, or anyone who goes to buy a new car that it potentially could run away out of control, and see what reaciton you’ll get. No matter how good a driver you are, even in emergency situations, this simply decreases the safety of the vehicle and adds to the possibility of being in an accident. Just like the Explorer/Firestone recall. Sure the majority of the problem was caused by bad drivers, but the bad tires simply increased the chances of being in an accident, making these already bad driver even worse drivers. I’m sorry, you may think this is a knee-jerk reaction, but I feel Toyota is doing what is in the best interests of the company, the consumer and the public in general. Hell I don’t own a Toyota, and dislike the idea that my safety could be compromised due to a bad driver behind the wheel of a Toyota that is running out of contol. The problem is two fold, bad drivers behind a defective vehicle, a double wammy!

  14. Mickey says:

    Justin if I’m not right the Hybrids are the ones being left out. Look at the mat recalls and all Hybrids were on that and on this one not a one. Justin you can say all you want about the domestic reliability. Remember I had an 03 F-150 and a 06 Silverado. You won’t get a positive word from me on those. Yes I had a unique issue on the F-150 as you remember only 3 had that issue but I had the 3rd one and only one on the east coast with that issue. Yes Toyota maybe relying on their past but that wasn’t what got me to their sales door. Also Justin, John was referring to the P0012 codes and the TSB that tells the tech to replace something on the top end. So in turn he thinks it’s a rebuild job.
    John you will get your letter. You have to give it time. I will say what my dealer stated about the recall since I just changed my oil and had other maintenance done. Now for the next few weeks to a month they will start receiving parts to change out as per recall. Everyone will start getting letters in the mail to set appointments to get these replaced. The dealerships have no idea how many of these they need much less how many people will show up but they do expect March-April time frame to start replacing these items. Unless you had the issue actually happen John, you just go about your scheduled activities as normal. I’m doing the same. Personally I don’t need mine changed. If it was going to act up it would have in the past 77,425 miles I have on my 07 Crewmax 5.7.
    Winghunter that would be a very expensive con-game and it would backfire on Toyota period. So this isn’t what you’re thinking. They are trying to nip this in the butt since they haven’t found what is causing the issue. I also believe Jason hit it on the head before that Toyota should have done the recall and simply do that software upgrade that keeps the engine from giving it gas when the brake is applied. To me that’s cheaper than what is happening. I’m sure the fix is very soon because of what they did stopping production. They may have a fix but not telling till they changed what causing this issue and testing the replacement first to make sure they have it right. This is for safety.

  15. Joe Smith says:

    Truely interesting. My 2010 Tundra has exhibited no such tendency and for that I am thankful. So for me, no big deal. I average 10-12 yrs on my vehicles so resale value is no big deal anytime in the near future. In fact, I think I now own a collectors item.

    I would like to know where the pressure for Toyota’s position is coming from. Mind you, I am not suggesting a conspiracy, but somebodies union just tried to cut a backhouse deal with Obama for exemptions from Health Care taxes that the rest of don’t have access to. And I’m pretty sure is wasn’t Toyota’s…

  16. Justin says:

    Mickey: I understand your issue with the domestics you’ve owned. We’ve all had problems with vehicles (domestic and foreign), as I’ve stated I had the biggest POS ’99 Explorer. But I simply try to look at items on a problem/error rate. Based on the # of vehicles produced, how many problems, on average does each manufacturer have per vehicle. From recent studies we’ve seen, which we’ve discussed before, the problem rate difference between Toyota and Ford is so miniscule, the study determined it to be a non-factor. It’s not that I think Fords are overall better vehicles in every case, but some cases yes. My point is Toyota’s aren’t nearly the vehicles many people make them out to be (nor what the media made them out to be) and they aren’t, for the most part, that much if any better than their Ford counterpart. Back in the day (80s & early 90s), yes I agree Toyota was superior in the quality/reliability dept. In the last 5-15yrs, not so much.
    And regarding simply leaving it at the software fix (brake overrides gas), that’s a band-aid and not a good solution. What if an owner hits the brake, which overrides the gas. Yes they will stop, but as soon as you release the brake, will the car shoot off at full/partial throttle? How will that work in rush hour traffic? If the mechanics keep the throttle constantly open, the engine will continuously rev, possibly causing premature failure. If the mechanism fails, then the owner will need to always keep a foot on the brake. The software upgrade is simply a failsafe in case the driver presses both pedals at once, or in the off chance the accelerator does stick. It’s not a permenent fix. This is why solving the entire problem is required. Just like the floormat recall was a band-aid/cover-up, installing just the software would also have been a band-aid/cover-up and not truly identify and correct the problem at hand.
    Joe Smith: The pressure is coming from the public, the consumer, NHTSA and the media. Owners have been complaining of these issues as far back as 2005. It has simply become so common place, it can’t be ignored or soley a driver issue. there is clearly a problem. The NHTSA is worried about the public safety, as is the public and consumer in general. The media, well they always try to find an axe to grind, so this is just a hot topic for them right now. Many Toyota owners who’ve experienced this believe the issue has been happening for years and that Toyota is late to answer the call.

  17. TXTee says:

    And TXTee is still trucking…..recall all they want. If after 2+ years of having my rig it decides to let it’s pedal stick, I’ll be smart enough to shut it down and then call the nearest dealership. When it comes down to it, anything built by man can and will fail. Be prepared. This is really going to hurt Toyota’s image more than anything but I personally wouldn’t stop purchasing their vehicles because of this. I currently own 3 Toyota products and I don’t feel anymore unsafe in them due to this recent recall.

  18. Vic says:

    When has a manufacture stopped production like this? Is it a first?

  19. Mickey says:

    Here’s the fix. It’s in pdf file…..

  20. Jason says:

    WOW – Tons of comments so fast. I’ve been racing to keep up with the news this week, writing lots of posts. SO, I’ll try to reply to all the comments here…

    Rick – Word.

    Molly – Probably because Toyota is going to stock-pile NUMMI’s production to cover them during the transition period of NUMMI’s closure…but that’s a great question and I’m just speculating.

    John – This response is rumored to have been a result of pressure from the Obama administration. I think it’s the right thing to do, but it smacks of union interference. In any case, your comments about a “used” engine are way off base. Toyota didn’t promise you a trouble-free vehicle sir – there’s a reason it has a warranty. I appreciate where you’re coming from, but it’s completely unreasonable to expect that nothing will ever break on any vehicle. If that’s what you expected, you were bound to be disappointed.

    mk – It’s a big deal, but I wonder if it will really be as big as some are saying. I hope that’s not the case, but we’ll have to wait and see I guess.

    Art64 – It might even be faster that that! 🙂

    Mickey – We’re often on the same page – this time is no exception. Thanks for posting the link.

    Winghunter – Interesting idea…but I think the risks of this strategy would be too great. An Obama administration official claimed credit for the sales freeze on a Chicago radio show in the last couple of days. Must be a great way to get big political donations from the UAW…but it really is the right thing to do. You can’t ask someone to spend $30-$40k on a vehicle with a known safety issue…

    Justin – I agree that many people’s expectations for Toyota’s quality are unreasonably high. I also agree that Ford’s quality is vastly improved, as is GM’s. I think there’s still a difference in quality between manufacturers (Chrysler and VW come to mind), and I think Toyota deserves credit for doing a really good job for a long time…but the latest events sort of shoot a hole in things. We’ll have to see what happens in sales. Also, I don’t know the specifics on the Camry. Mickey posted a link to the actual announcement.

    Joe – Your instincts are spot on. Search for “Ray LaHood” + Toyota.

    TXTee – Well said.

    Vic – I can’t think of a situation where this many lines had a stop sale. I remember temporary “stop sale” orders in my Ford days, but they were very limited. So, I think this is a first.

    Whew! I think I got em’ all. Thanks to everyone for commenting.

  21. John Francoeur says:

    Jason, I think you are off base to think that I should expect to have trouble with a new truck. I understand that there is a possibility of problems down the road, but only 4oo miles down the road. That is pure crap. With Toyota’s past reputation I would not expect problems VERY far down the road, not 400 miles. Toyota needs to get their s–t together and reclaim the trust that their customer base has and does expect from them, otherwise I can see some very hard times coming for them. Their QC and R&D departments have falled it this instance. This situation reminds me of Microsoft sending out their new Beta software and then making fixes as the complaints come rolling in. Not good way to do business. Just my opinion. 😉

  22. Jason says:

    John – I agree that it sucks for Toyota to release 2010 Tundras with a problem like this, and I don’t think anyone should “expect” a problem on a new vehicle…but I don’t think anyone has a right to get all bent out of shape about one either! 🙂 These are complicated machines. Where you lost me is the idea that this issue is somehow a major quality problem. We’re talking about a spring that advances or retards the cam – it’s not going to cause any problems with the longevity of the motor.

    First, I think Toyota needs to offer 2010 Tundra owners with this problem a free extension of the powertrain warranty. This will help to overcome any quality concerns.

    For those people who are concerned about the quality of the repair, I understand that perfectly. However, if everyone spoke to an actual technician about this, they would realize this repair really isn’t that invasive. It sounds bad, but both of the technicians I spoke to said it was a simple job. Even better, if someone DOES screw up and doesn’t reinstall a gasket or seal correctly, it will be obvious right away. There’s no chance that a poorly performed repair will somehow rear it’s head later.

    Like I said, it sucks. Toyota definitely screwed up. If they extend the warranty, they’ll be doing the right thing. My commitment to you and anyone else with this problem is to publicize this issue (like we’ve been doing) and demand a free warranty extension on your behalf (which is coming soon).

  23. Justin says:

    Looks like Toyota just exteneded its floormat recall to include another million vehicles, including some from Europe.

  24. John Francoeur says:

    I agree Jason, it sucks. I also agree that we should all push for an extension on our drivetrain warranty. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Tundra. Compared to the Silverado’s and F150’s I have owned, I like the Tundra much more. I am just ticked off that this happen right after I plunked down all that money on a new truck. Other than that, I plan on keep driving Toyota as long as I see it as the superior vehicle.

  25. Mickey says:

    John I do feel your pain about just getting your vehicle and this happens to it with 400 miles. I had my 06 Silverado LT3 $36,000 truck not even 2 weeks when I washed it and was waxing it at the moment when I had all 4 doors opened and noticed the headliner sagging where I can see inside of the headliner on all 4 doors. If it wasn’t for the sunroof to hold it up in the middle I think it would have come down. Being that I went through Gerneral Motors School back in 76-77 and worked at a chevy place in 77 in the TRIM shop which did headliners, carpet, radio’s, water and air leaks etc. I knew this wasn’t an ordinary issue. I went to 3 other Chevy dealerships besides where I bought mine and saw at least 2 trucks per lot with the same issue. I pointed it out to the rookie salesman on all lots about this defect. I kept the truck only 18 months and was so displeased with GM customer service I had to trade it in. I really don’t like the fact a factory rep accused me 3x of pulling my headliner down and stating the dealership replaced it 4x already just to please me and I was the only one with this issue. When I told him his counterpart’s name and he knew him and then stated he admitted it was a defect. In the 16 months of ownership 11x replacing falling headliner. Did I mention both taillights fell off while driving down the road? Well you see where it went from there. If customer service isn’t there for you when you need help then the sale is gone in my book. I will never own another GM product as long as I live. I’m sorry to say I sold my 78 Camaro because I was so po’ed at GM. So I see where you’re coming from. I wouldn’t blame you if they don’t make this right.

  26. Jason says:

    John – Good to hear. You’ll see some movement from us on this next week.

  27. Bill says:

    Toyota quality has went down over the last few years. Because they have the TOS system. That has put stress on employees. It includes hourly boards to keep up with. That takes time form production quality. In my opinion Toyota needs to stop playing with the TOS Boards and start building Quality vehicles again.

  28. TXTee says:

    Hmm I wouldn’t mind an extension on my drivetrain warranty but I’m pretty sure I’ve voided it with mods by now anyway.

  29. John Francoeur says:

    Bill, excuse my ignorance, but what is a TOS system?

  30. Jason says:

    Bill – I’m wondering that too – can you give us some more details?

    TXTee – No way. Your mods haven’t hurt your warranty (unless you’ve added something I don’t know about, that is)! 🙂

  31. TXTee says:

    I don’t think they’ll warrant any of my suspension and would probably find a way to blame any drivetrain issues on the additional strain caused by the lift.

  32. Mickey says:

    Jason here’s a video on the pedal in question.

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