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Fallout Widens from Toyota Accelerator Recalls

The fallout from the Toyota's "stop sale" order and recalls is continuing, and widening by the hour. Toyota, for its part, is recalling an additional 1.1 million U.S. cars (on top of the 4.3 million already brought in) because of floor mat interference.

Ford announced that it would stop production of a commercial van in China that, like the affected Toyotas, uses a CTS Corp. accelerator pedal assembly. Automakers, many of whom use Indiana-based CTS as a supplier, are issuing statements to claim that their assemblies are built with different designs and manufacturing processes.

Chrysler, for example, said, "Accelerator pedals produced by CTS Automotive for Chrysler Group LLC vehicles are a different specification and design and are manufactured using different production tooling and materials than the pedals produced for Toyota., which leases cars and trucks online, said it "will not allow the lease trade of any Toyota model vehicle involved in the current recall until documentation proving inspection or repair." The company said, "We're committed to doing everything we can to help our customers manage the current Toyota recall issue."

National Auto Auction Association, similarly motivated, recommended that its members temporarily stop selling Toyota cars and trucks that are part of the recall. Rental agencies, incuding Hertz, Enterprise and Budget are taking the Toyotas out of fleets.

Meanwhile, there was some opportunism about as automakers swooped in to snag would-be Toyota buyers. Both Ford and GM offered incentives that included $1,000 rebates (Ford) and 60-month no-interest loans with a Toyota trade-in (GM).

Finally, a serious dispute is brewing between CTS and Toyota. The former believes it has been hung out to dry by the automaker. "This is their recall," said Mitchell Walorski, CTS' director of planning and investor relations. CTS, by the way, is based in Elkhart, Indiana, the former "RV Capital of the World," hard hit by the recession. It is also the future home of Think, which will make the electric City there.