Toyota Sales Drop, Urged to Reassure Customers

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Japan's trade minister Masayuki Naoshima is urging Toyota to move quickly to reassure auto buyers that its cars are safe.

The company market share could drop to its lowest level in four years, because of concerns over faulty gas pedals.

More than 2.5 million Toyota vehicles on three continents are subject to recall. The automaker has also suspended sales of eight models of its vehicles in the U.S.

"The scale of the recalls is huge," Naoshima said. "The situation is serious. It points to the possible dangers a global economy can bring," Naoshima told reporters. "I would like Toyota to respond properly to secure consumer confidence."

Toyota is expected to sell 103,000 in January, which is 11.9 percent less from January 2009 and down 45.0 percent from December 2009, according to

Meanwhile, Toyota cannot stop the free fall in its stock price. It has lost more than 10 percent of its value in the past week.

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