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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: We begin this morning, though, with Toyota, which says it’s going to stop making and stop selling eight models in the United States until it figures out what’s causing this sudden acceleration. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman joins us live this morning with that. Good morning, Mitchell.
Mitchell Hartman: Good morning, Steve.
Chiotakis: First of all, what is the scale of this action by Toyota?
HARTMAN: Well they’ve told their dealers not to sell any more of many of their most popular vehicles. So listen to this list: Camry, Matrix, Avalon and Corolla sedans, Tundra pickups, Sequoia and Highlander SUVs, RAV4s — ranging from 2005 model year right up to ones that just came off the production line in 2010. Auto analyst Mary Anne Keller says it’s a stunning reversal for a company that of course has built its reputation on quality.
Mary Anne Keller: Unprecedented that a company would stop selling eight different models in order to, you know, to fix a problem.
And not only that, they’re also halting production of the cars in the U.S. all next week while they figure out how to fix this unintentional acceleration.
Chiotakis: And Mitchell, what kind of a PR hit is Toyota going to take with this?
HARTMAN: Well, it all depends on how fast Toyota can fix the problem. Keep in mind they’ve already recalled more than 4 million vehicles. Keller says it could cost them billions, but they’ve really got no choice to protect their reputation.
Chiotakis: Mitchell Hartman joining us live this morning. Mitchell, thanks.
HARTMAN: You’re welcome.