Toyota February sales down 8.7 percent in U.S.

08:32, March 03, 2010      

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Toyota, which is being troubled by a series of mass recalls worldwide, reported on Tuesday an 8.7-percent drop in its February sales on the U.S. market.

Toyota's total auto sales last month in the U.S. market reached 100,027 vehicles, 8.7 percent lower compared to that of January, said the company.

The steep cuts in sales are intensively linked to accelerator problems which could cause cars to speed out of control and existed in a series models of Toyota's products, like Lexus, Camry and Prius.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised the number of deaths in road accidents involved with these problems, saying 52 people may have died due to sudden uncontrollable acceleration in some Toyota cars since 2000, up from 34 deaths estimated last month.

Already, Toyota has recalled more than eight million faulty models for repairing and examination, trying to fix not only its cars but also its reputation.

Attending the congressional hearing on Feb. 24 in Washington, D.C., the Japanese auto manufacturer's chief Akio Toyoda said he took "full responsibility" for the massive recall of Toyota cars due to quality defects, and apologized for that.

The Japanese car maker said it would reform its quality-control measures, create a U.S. safety post and demand for more test drives.

However, lingering critics and doubts over Toyota's explanations of problems with their cars claimed the company took floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals as scapegoats for possible electronic problems.

Additionally, the third U.S. congressional hearing over Toyota within a week opened Tuesday with more questions over the issue. "We know something has gone terribly wrong," U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller said.

Source: Xinhua
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