Toyota’s European sales plummet

BRUSSELS — Toyota’s sales in Europe slipped 20 percent in February from a year ago after the company launched a massive recall to fix faulty gas pedals, according to EU car makers’ sales figures released today.

The company sold 42,234 cars in the 27-nation bloc in February, down from 53,233 the same month a year ago.

It launched a worldwide recall in early February that now covers some 8 million cars and trucks worldwide to repair problems with gas pedals and floor mats that can cause the accelerator to become stuck in the depressed position.

Toyota’s poor sales figures came in a good month for the overall European Union car market, with sales up 3 percent over the year.

A nearly 30 percent drop in sales in the region’s biggest car buying market, Germany, was compensated by stronger results from other major markets such as France, Italy, Spain and Britain. French sales were up 18 percent, Italy 20 percent, Spain 47 percent and Britain 26 percent.

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s best selling automaker, saw sales decline 2.2 percent due to poor results in its home market in Germany. France’s Peugeot Citroen PSA was up 18 percent and Renault up nearly 30 percent.

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