Toyota’s US sales slumped last month as it recalled millions of cars to fix sticking accelerator pedals.
The problem also meant eight of its most popular models were pulled from showrooms.
The Japanese carmaker sold 16 percent fewer vehicles in the US in January and was overtaken by rivals Ford and General Motors.
At an apology news conference Toyota’s head of quality control Shinichi Sasaki admitted the company was “extremely worried about sales.” He called it “a major concern.”
And there are more potential problems for Toyota as some owners of its new model Prius have complained about braking problems in certain conditions.
Other Japanese manufacturers are worried they will suffer because of the Toyota recall. Honda – which saw its US sales rise slightly in January – expressed concerns.
Koichi Kondo, Honda’s Executive Vice President, said: “As Toyota has been the forerunner of the Japanese car industry, we are concerned about the impact that the huge recall by Toyota could have on consumer sentiment towards Japanese cars.”
Meanwhile the US Transportation Department is to look again at Toyota’s electronics to see if they might be responsible for deadly crashes such as that of a Toyota made Lexus last year.
A problem with the electronics controlling the braking system would be much more complicated and expensive for Toyota to address.